WESTCLIFFE- Snow and a muddy field forced the game against the Bobcats of Custer County to be moved from Walsenburg to the Bobcat home field this past Saturday, April 18. Rather than having Walsenburg’s home crowd cheer on the Cats, the team faced a sparse Bobcat crowd on the Custer County ‘field of dreams. ‘ When it was over, the Panthers lost a doubleheader in less than respectable fashion.
In the first game, the Panthers’ pitching machine gave up 17 hits and the defense gave away 10 errors. Over all, the Panthers played a strong three and one-half innings before things fell apart. The Panthers gave up 12 third-inning runs which changed the momentum of the game and took the wind out of the Panther sails.
When the smoke settled, the Bobcats beat the Panthers 22-6. Custer County’s offense belted three out of the park while John Malls’ Jon Aguirre put one over the fence himself.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Panthers fell 16-3. John Mall pitcher, Charlie Whitehead, gave up nine runs before Jon Aguirre came in to relieve him and close out the game. Defensively, the Panthers played an almost error-free game, but the Cats proved to be no match for high-scoring, hot-hitting Bobcat machine. Custer County has hit the ball well all season and Saturday’s game against the Panthers was one more in their streak of victories.
Custer County is one of the top-ranked teams in the state and is expected to enter the state playoffs as the favorite to win it all. Last season, top-ranked Custer County went to the semifinals, losing to state champion Wray, 3-0. Custer County is loaded again this year with 15 players returning from last year’s team.
LA VETA-The Panthers traveled to Redskin Field last Tuesday, April 22 and came away with a 4-3 victory. It was the best performance of the season for Panther pitcher Jon Aguirre and for Skins pitcher Dylan Thompsen. They both pitched 5 scoreless innings before Aguirre hit a solo shot over the fence to give the Cats a 1-0 lead. Aguirre pitched 11 strikeouts before Mike Vigil relieved him in the bottom of the 6th to close out the game.
The Panthers added to their lead in the seventh off a single by Craig Eccher to open the inning. Jon Ortiz was then walked before Jesse Pacheco hit a triple to bring home two.
The Panthers held off the Redskin comeback in the bottom of the 7th to claim victory.