Paonia's baseball team remained undefeated last weekend and heads to the fateful semifinal round which kayoed the Eagles title run in 2016 when Limon knocked off Paonia in a late innings rally.
The Eagles won their opening round contest against No. 16 Sargent (11-11 overall and 7-1 in 2A District 1 play) on Saturday morning in Pueblo.
Paonia used two runs in the first inning and then tacked on another five runs in the second frame to charge to a 7-0 lead going to the third inning.
Neither team scored in the third inning. Two runs by the Farmers in the top of the fourth inning would be all the runs Sargent would score.
Paonia scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth and scored its final run in the sixth to end the game with a 10-run rule win, 12-2.
Trevor Smith worked 5.2 innings and gave up four hits, two runs, walked three and struck out nine Farmers on his way to a sixth win in 2017.
The Eagles' offense provided plenty of scoring for Smith with Slater Podgorny leading the way with three RBIs on a 1-3 day, including a triple. Jaden Miller had two hits, scored twice and knocked in two runs for the Eagles. Smith helped his own cause with two RBIs on a hit in three at bats. Kayden Seriani drove in one run and scored once to help the Eagles advance to quarterfinal play against Hotchkiss.
Paonia 1, Hotchkiss 0
Playing in their fourth contest of the year against each other, Hotchkiss and Paonia executed a pitcher's duel which ended in a 1-0 win for the Eagles in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Paonia, the official scorebook for the contest, had Seriani spinning a no-hitter. Eli Kirk was the pitcher of record for Hotchkiss and both pitchers stayed locked in a duel to the end.
With neither team lighting up the scoreboard with their bats, it looked like it would take an unusual circumstance to produce a winning score. That winning score came in the bottom of the sixth after Seriani had reached base on a single.
After stealing second Seriani was in scoring position with Smith at the plate. Kirk struck out Smith on a curve ball in the dirt and the throw from the catcher to first got past the first baseman allowing Seriani to score from second.
The run proved to be the difference in a close game and sends Paonia into Saturday's semifinal round against No. 4 County Line (Wiley/McClave, 19-2 and 10-1) at 9:30 a.m.
No. 11 Rocky Ford (17-5 and 10-1) and No. 10 Lyons (19-3 and 8-1) play in the other semifinal contest with the winners meeting on Hobbs Field (Runyon Field Complex) at 2:30 p.m. for the Class 2A state baseball title.
Paonia's four hits were recorded by Seriani, Alex Lozano, Colby Simpson and Podgorny.
Seriani went the distance for Paonia and picked up his ninth win of the season. He walked one batter and struck out 10 Bulldog batters on his way to the win.
Kirk gave up four hits, one run, one walk and struck out eight Eagle batters in a losing cause.