Last week began with Delta's Panthers sitting in the top five in RPI for 3A baseball teams. A loss to Grand Junction (5-4) knocked Delta down to number 8 in the standings. The Panthers did win two 3A WSL contests, 20-2 over Gunnison and 20-0 against Grand Valley, but could not regain the ground lost in standings for RPI.
The week began for Delta with a weather postponement against Gunnison, April 30. That game was moved to Friday, May 3.
In between the Gunnison game date was a non-conference matchup against 5A Grand Junction (3-3, 13-8). The Tigers got their bats working early with a four-run first inning, which kept Delta at bay until the sixth inning where the Panthers tied the game with two runs. A run in the bottom of the seventh secured the win for the Tigers, 5-4.
Christian Hafey picked up the win for Grand Junction with two innings of work where he allowed two runs on two hits and struck out five Delta batters. Derek Shaver had the most work on the mound for the Tigers going five innings while giving up six hits and two runs and striking out eight Delta batters.
Delta Coach Steve Reiher knows his Panthers missed a chance to gain some ground in the RPI race with a win. The tough loss for Delta (16-4) was another learning experience for his Panthers. "Yeah, it was a tough loss. We just left too many runners on base (11) and struck out too many times (13), several when there were two outs." Reiher gave plenty of credit to the Tigers' Shaver though, "Man, he can swing it, toss it and play." Shaver had three hits in the game, including a double and two RBIs. Levi Prall also had a double and two RBIs for the Tigers in the win.
Delta's Nolan Bynum picked up three RBIs with Kolby Keller adding an RBI on a double. Clayton Abila had two hits for the Panthers.
Ryan Cooper took the loss for Delta.
In Friday's makeup game against Gunnison, the Panthers found themselves trailing, 2-0, heading to the top of the third inning against the 3-3, 8-8 Cowboys. A four-run inning was enough to earn a win, but the Panthers pounded out six more runs in the fourth inning and finished the game with a 10-run explosion in the top of the fifth to score a 20-2 win.
Seniors Trevor Myers and Rowyn Carmichael had monster days for the Panthers with a bat. Myers had three hits in five plate appearances, including two home runs and seven RBIs. Carmichael was perfect at the plate with five hits, and finished the game hitting for the cycle. Carmichael began his day with a double, then a triple, a home run and beat out an infield hit to complete the cycle with a five-RBI day.
Though it wasn't the first time Myers has had a day like he had against the Cowboys this season, he described the experience of how his performance felt on Friday, "Pretty great ... we're getting hot at the right time."
Carmichael's feat was equally exciting. "I never had hit for a cycle; maybe in little league, but that doesn't count. That would be different," explained Carmichael.
A comparison of teams Carmichael has been a part of during his high school career made it evident this year's team is special. "We started this year slow (hitting). Now we're swinging it well, one through nine. Even guys coming off the bench are hitting."
Colby Wilson added to Delta's impressive stats with three hits and two RBIs in the big win.
Saturday's home game against Grand Valley was Law Enforcement/First Responders Appreciation Day.
Senior Andrew Baier was on the hill for Delta and the big right-hander struck out two of four Cardinals to start the day. Delta's bats, and running did the rest.
The Panthers were off to another high-scoring game with 12 batters coming to bat in the first inning. Delta scored eight runs in the inning on five hits with help from three walks and a hit batter. Carmichael, the hit batter, was struck in the back of the head (helmet) to start the scoring parade.
Baier gave up a walk in the second inning before recording three more strike outs to retire the side. Delta sent another 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the second and scored nine runs on two hits, two walks and three hit batters. Gauge Lockhart had a double and a triple in the inning with two RBIs.
The Panthers added three runs in the third inning to end the game, 20-0.
Baier was the winning pitcher, allowing just one hit and walking two batters.
Lockhart's three-hit day and two RBIs paced Delta's offense with Ben Cooper, Eli Farmer, Bynum, Carmichael and Caleb Miramontes contributing RBIs in the win.
Workman and Myers had doubles in the game for Delta.
Delta concludes its regular season schedule this week, beginning with Olathe (May 7), Montrose on May 10 in Delta at 4 p.m. and finishes the regular season at New Castle against Coal Ridge May 11 at 11 a.m.