Joel Simianer drove in four runs with a first-inning grand slam homer against Cedaredge on April 30. It was the second grand slam for the sophomore, and one of 11 hits for the game for the Eagles in their 12-0 home win over the Bruins.
It was also the final scheduled game of the season for the 2A Western Slope League champs (14-5, 11-1), who are seeded first heading into this week's district tournament.
The Bruins were resting arms in anticipation of their final league games against Aspen Saturday. Bruins back-up pitcher Chance Hanson, who had pitched 16 innings this season, allowed eight hits, walked nine and struck out three in four innings.
Not making excuses, said Bruins head coach CJ Cannell, "Paonia played a good game." He praised Eagles ace pitcher Taylor Katzer, who had six strikeouts and allowed three hits in five innings. "We gave them too many free opportunities and they took advantage of them," said Cannell.
The strategy paid off for the Bruins, who swept their final double-header Saturday against Aspen to clinch second place in the 3A Western Slope League (see related story).
"It's a tough place to play," said Cannell, a 2007 graduate of PHS. That year, the Eagles placed second in state. In 2012, Paonia outscored the Bruins 11-1. Early this season, Cedaredge topped Paonia, 10-7, and allowed the Eagles 11 hits.
Five days before facing Cedaredge, Katzer pitched five innings in the league double-header wins against Meeker. With no games scheduled for last weekend, he was free to pitch the entire game. "We're in good enough shape we could do that," said head coach Drew Potter.
The win was the last home game for Paonia seniors Tyler Kendall, Jorge Quinonez, Keaton Kropp, Katzer and Jacob Leon. "We wanted to have the last home game as a win," said Potter, who also coached his last home game at Volunteer Park. The two-year head coach and high school social studies teacher is leaving the area to be closer to family.
Leon has been catching since his T-ball days. "It's been in the family," said Leon. "My grandpa and dad were both catchers," and both played for Delta. Leon has played on the varsity team since his freshman year and is pursuing a college career. He has been accepted to Trinidad State, although he hasn't committed.
Leon, Kendall and Katzer are all 4-year starters for the Eagles. Kropp is a three-year starter, and Potter described Quinonez as "one of the most talented and versatile players on the team." Leon has a lot of good memories, but nothing that stands out. "Just being with the team itself stands out. It's like being around family," he said after Tuesday's win.
The Eagles will vie for a second consecutive district title and will open the District 2 tournament this Friday at 1:30 p.m. They play the winners of Game 1 between Dolores (7-6, 5-4 San Juan Basin League) and Rangely (4-8, 6-14 WSL). The championship game will be played Saturday at 11 a.m., with the top two teams advancing to regional play. All games will be played at Delta High School, unless the Panthers are fortunate enough to draw an opening-round 4A home playoff game.
The ball field at Delta Middle School will be utilized should Delta be playing a first-round game at home.blog comments powered by Disqus