The Panthers’ Jordan Sandoval hits a line drive single to center field in Delta’s 5-4 win over Paonia in last weekend’s Lloyd McMillan Baseball Tournament.
After losing to them in a pre-season scrimmage, the Paonia Eagles were hoping to end the Lloyd McMillan baseball tournament with a win over Delta, or at worst a tie. But despite a close game and a slight lead for much of the game, a solid team effort down the stretch gave Delta the edge at the end of the game.
After a scoreless first inning, Paonia made the first run of the game in the top of the second, thanks to a double by Derek Heineger to score courtesy runner Adrian Lopez from second base.
Paonia held Delta to three-and-out in the first two innings, then took a 2-run lead in the top of the third after KC Christian led with a single.
Tyler Kendall hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Christian to second, and Landon Long hit an RBI single to score Christian.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Panther Chad Felder scored on a double by Keaton Reiher.
With runners on second and third, Tyler Sandoval hit a single RBI, scoring Reiher and tying the game at two.
Panther Chris Lopez ended a three-inning drought when he hit a triple in the bottom of the sixth, then scored on a throwing error by Paonia. With two outs, Jordan Sandoval advanced to third on a single by Fedler.
A bad throw by Paonia allowed Fedler to score and Delta took a 2-run lead heading into the final inning.
With two outs and options running low, Dustin Braslin took first base on a catcher error. With one strike to his count, Long slammed a two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the game at four.
"That was a huge clutch hit," said Paonia coach Drew Potter. "I bet Landon Long will remember that for the rest of his life."
With one out, Reiher hit a single, then stole second on a pitch to Tyler Sandoval. Sandoval hit a single and was called safe on a close play at first, allowing Reiher to advance to third. At that point, the Eagles had one of Delta's top hitters coming to the plate in Lopez. To avoid the hard-hitting senior getting the winning hit, Potter had Lopez walked to load the bases.
Potter took a chance on the next batter, Brendan Kortz, would not get a hit and pulled his outfield and infielders in. Unfortunately for Paonia, Kortz drove a ball over the left fielder's head to score Reiher from third giving Delta a 5-4 win.