Panthers control 4A WSL
By Wayne Crick
Published Wednesday, April 20, 2016 8:11 am
Delta hosted Palisade's Bulldogs last Friday afternoon for what may have been a title-deciding baseball game in 4A WSL play.
The Panthers knocked off Glenwood Springs, 17-5 on Wednesday and then came back for a 14-10 decision over Palisade on Friday.
Three teams were unbeaten in 4A WSL play at the beginning of the week.
Rifle carried a 9-1 overall and a 5-0 league mark into last week's games. The Bears were scheduled to play 4-6 and 0-6 Battle Mountain on April 20.
Delta assumes the league lead, pending results from Rifle's game against Battle Mountain. Palisade fell to third place with marks of 7-5 and 6-1.
Delta 17, Demons 5
A four-run first inning grew to an 11-0 lead for the Panthers after three innings of play. A five-run effort in the third frame was duplicated in the fourth, giving Delta a 16-0 lead with Glenwood Springs coming to bat.
The Demons' offense appeared for a five-run rally in the bottom of the fourth before falling silent the rest of the way.
Ethan Keller picked up the win for Delta while Davis Deaton took the loss for Glenwood Springs.
Damon Jensen was dynamite for the Panthers against Glenwood Springs. The junior utility player had four hits in four at bats, scored three times, hit a grand slam home run and finished with five RBIs.
Keller wasn't too far behind Jensen's performance with a 2-3 day at the plate, including two doubles and three RBIs.
Justin Violett was 1-3 and hit a three-run home run for the Panthers.
Peyton Hagemann's lone hit of the day for the Demons was a grand slam home run giving him four RBIs for the game.
Delta 14, Palisade 10
This game started out as though there would not be enough spaces to hold all the runs each team was going to score for seven innings of play.
Delta's defense gave up the first three runs on a series of passed balls, an error and a balk. A ground-rule double accounted for Palisade's final two runs of the first inning, giving the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.
Delta opened its half of the first inning with back-to-back doubles from Seth Mewhinney and Jensen. Keller popped up to the catcher and Tristan Brown struck out looking for the Panthers' second out.
Jaspar Carmichael extended the inning for Delta after being issued a walk. Violett's home run made the score 5-4.
Ty McCurdy started another rally with a double and Blake Reiher's RBI single scored the tying run, 5-5.
Palisade kept the pressure on with help from an error and a double which resulted in two runs being scored by the Bulldogs in the second inning.
The Panthers countered with two runs of their own in the second frame. Jensen reached base after being hit by a pitch. Brown drew a walk and Carmichael was hit by a pitch. Violett delivered a single for two runs and the score was tied at 7-7 going to the third inning.
Palisade was held scoreless in the top of the third inning when Carmichael took over pitching duties from starting pitcher Drake Horn. Carmichael retired the side on a fly ball and two strikeouts.
Delta's half of the third started with Reiher's fly-out to left field. Easton Metcalf and Mewhinney reached on back-to-back infield hits. A bunt by Jensen loaded the bases for Keller's sacrifice fly that gave Delta an 8-7 lead.
The Bulldogs regained the lead on a two-run home run in the fourth only to see Delta earn it back again in the bottom of the fifth. Delta's three-run fifth was helped along by Palisade's two errors and RBI singles from Jensen and Keller.
The Panthers plated three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 14-9 lead going to the seventh.
Palisade managed one more run in the seventh, making the final score 14-10.
Violett's two-hit day included a home run and four RBIs. Jensen was 3-4 with three runs scored, a triple and an RBI.
Reiher and Keller had RBIs for the winners.
Carmichael was the winning pitcher and finished with six strikeouts.
Delta is at home on April 20 for doubleheader action against Summit. Games are set for 1 and 3 p.m.
The Panthers play Palisade on April 27 at Suplizio Field at 6 p.m.
Delta is scheduled to play a doubleheader against Rifle on April 30 with the first game beginning at 11 a.m.
The Bears will face Palisade in their final week of regular season play with a doubleheader scheduled for May 7.