Delta High School's baseball team has climbed into the driver's seat in the 3A WSL standings after winning a conference ball game against Cedaredge (10-0) on April 19.
The Panthers improved their overall record to 9-6 after a 9-0 win over Class 4A Rifle April 18. The conference game against Cedaredge was moved from April 17 to the 19th due to weather.
Delta 9, Rifle 0
Weather conditions, though not totally ideal, were definitely more conducive to baseball on Wednesday than the day before where blustery and rainy conditions forced the postponement of the Delta/Cedaredge contest to Thursday.
Delta's game with Rifle began with a Dylan Hollenbeck strike out of the game's first batter. A pop-up to Jaspar Carmichael at shortstop gave the Panthers two outs in a seemingly smooth start to the game.
Rifle pitcher Derek Wagler laced a single to right field to lead the Bears on a trio of hits which included a single from Connor Gould and Eddie Medina to load the bases. Hollenbeck quieted the uprising with a strike out to end Rifle's scoring threat in the opening frame.
The Panthers used a single from Nolan Bynum and a double by Josh Reeder to give Delta two runners in scoring position for the Panthers' cleanup hitter, Hollenbeck. A double by Hollenbeck scored Bynum and Reeder and left Delta with a 2-0 lead after one full inning of play.
Rifle and Delta traded at bats with no runs in the second inning with Hollenbeck picking up two more strike outs along the way.
The Bears had their first baserunner on a walk in the top of the third with an infield hit adding Rifle's second base runner. Hollenbeck walked his third batter in the game to load the bases and Delta was faced with another bases-loaded situation with no outs.
An infield fly to Carmichael was the first out and Hollenbeck struck out the next two batters to keep the Panthers in control, 2-0, going to the fourth inning.
Delta's defense bent a tad in the fourth inning but held its two-run lead going to the bottom of the inning.
Clayton Abila began Delta's half of the fourth with a free pass to first after being hit by a pitch. A sacrifice bunt by Drake Horn moved Abila to second and Jaspar Carmichael's double drove in Abila for the Panthers' third score.
Bynum reached base on a single and Reeder drew a walk with Hollenbeck coming to bat. A fielder's choice off the bat of Hollenbeck forced Bynum at third but drove in Carmichael.
Kolby Keller was the next Delta batter and his single scored Reeder. Catcher Trevor Myers was next and he was walked. Andrew Baier, replacing KC Carlson at first base, roped a single that scored Hollenbeck and Keller. Abila was next at the plate and he ripped a double to score Skyler Kraai, Myers' pinch runner, to complete the Panthers' six-run fourth and give the home team an 8-0 lead.
Abila took the mound after one out in the fifth inning and Hollenbeck moved to center field. Abila gave the Bears a new look at a fresh arm and greeted them with two strike outs. From there, the Panthers' defense did the rest to preserve the 9-0 win.
Hollenbeck picked up the win with four and a third innings of work with six hits and seven strike outs.
Hollenbeck was the Panthers leading hitter with two hits, a double and three RBIs. Jaspar Carmichael also had two hits, scored twice, hit a triple and had an RBI. Baier was 1-2 with two RBIs.
Rifle's Eddie Medina was 2-4 and Connor Gould finished with one hit (double) and two RBIs.
Delta 10, Bruins 0
Against Cedaredge on Thursday, the Panthers nursed a 2-0 lead from the first to the fourth inning before exploding for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-0 lead.
The game's final score came in the bottom of the fifth to end the game in five innings, 10-0.
Trevor Myers had a big day for Delta with a home run and two RBIs. Keller had a double and two RBIs and Baier finished with two hits.
Jaspar Carmichael had a double in two at bats with an RBI and Reeder was 1-1 with an RBI for the winners.
Carmichael was the winning pitcher on a one-hitter in five innings of work and 10 strike outs.
Cedaredge catcher Colton Hoerr was the Bruins' lone batter with a hit in three plate appearances.
The Panthers are in Basalt on Wednesday, April 25, for a 3 p.m. game and host Aspen on Friday at 4 p.m.
Cedaredge played in Olathe on April 24 and will face Moffat County April 27 at 1 p.m. and Grand Valley on April 28 at 11 a.m. in Cedaredge.