Paonia High School's march toward another state title is alive and more than well. The Eagles made huge strides last weekend in Pueblo with an 11-1 win over Sargent in first-round play and then bounced Akron, 7-2, in game two.
The wins boost Paonia's overall record to 22-1 for the season. The Eagles will take on 13th-seeded Limon (17-4) at 10 a.m. on Hobbs Field at Runyon Complex in Pueblo, May 28. The winner of this game will play either 2-seed Sedgwick County (22-1) or 11th-seeded Dawson School (16-4), in a game to be played at 1 p.m. for the state title on Hobbs Field.
Paonia 11, Sargent 1
Colby Simpson had a monster day for the Eagles as the Paonia junior had a double in a 2-for-3 day with a bat, three RBIs and scored a run himself.
Jaden Miller had two RBIs while Trevor Smith had two hits with a double included, and scored three times. Kayden Seriani was 2-4, scored a run and had an RBI.
Alex Lozano picked up the win for Paonia with four innings worked, allowing one hit and one run while striking out five Farmers.
Paonia had the game under control from the outset with two runs in the first inning, and added seven more in the second frame for a 9-0 lead.
Sargent's only run came in the third inning with Paonia adding single runs in the fourth and sixth innings.
Paonia 7, Akron 2
The Rams provided a challenge for Nate Miller's nine through five innings of play. Each team scored once in the first inning and the Eagles took a 2-1 lead after scoring one more in the third.
Akron tied the game with a run in the top of the fourth.
Paonia regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth with one run being scored for a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles closed the game with a four-run sixth to record the 7-2 victory.
Four players had two hits for Paonia. Seriani's two doubles accounted for three RBIs as did Trevor Smith's two hits in four at bats. Lozano and Miller had the other two-hit games.
Seriani was the winning pitcher for Paonia with 6.2 innings worked, six hits allowed, two runs and a whopping 14 strikeouts.