Multiple times last Wednesday, the Delta High School baseball team had undefeated Coal Ridge on the ropes. After a hot start and a late comeback, the Panthers ultimately fell 6-5 on a walk-off run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We battled really well,” Delta coach Steve Reiher said. “We just put ourselves in a couple tough positions where we were giving up free bases and had a couple errant throws. Next thing you know, we’re on the wrong side of things. I thought we swung it well most of the time, we just left more runners on than we should have. It’s tough to load the bases up against a team like that and not convert.”
The Panthers led 2-1 after the first inning, a score that remained the same through the top of the fifth. The Titans rallied in the bottom of the fifth for three runs, then the teams traded one run in the sixth to make it 5-3 in favor of Coal Ridge. The Panthers were able to tie the game in the top of the seventh, but the Titans plated the winning run in walk-off fashion.
Ty Reed, Braeden Sprout and Landon Kennell combined forces on the mound to hold Coal Ridge to its second-lowest run total of the season, with Sprout fanning five batters in two innings of relief work.
Rylan Bynum led the offense with a solo home run, while Landan Clay finished 2-for-4 with a double.
Still, after the tough loss to the Titans that ended an eight-game winning streak, Delta bounced back by defeating North Fork 12-0 on Saturday.
The Panthers scored in every inning and produced multiple runs in four of five frames. Reed launched his first home run of the season and was one of three players to drive in multiple runs, along with Bynum and Clay.
Kennell went the distance, throwing a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts.
“I’m proud of the way we bounced back,” Reiher said. “Ty Reed got his first bomb of the year when he got one to carry for him and we hit the ball hard. Against Coal Ridge, we were always a swing or two away from having some of those crooked-number innings that we had against North Fork. It was good to get back on that ride.”
The loss pushed the Miners’ losing streak to seven games after they fell 18-8 to Aspen earlier in the week.
North Fork will close out the season with a pair of home games, starting with Rangely at 3 p.m. Tuesday before they host Roaring Fork at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Delta will have its eyes on the postseason, but not before they close out the regular season with five games over the next week. They start with a home game against Olathe on Tuesday that serves as military appreciation night. After that, they’ll host Montrose at 5 p.m. Thursday. They’ll continue the homestand on Saturday with an 11 a.m. doubleheader against Basalt, before finishing the regular season with a make-up game against Roaring Fork in Carbondale at 3 p.m. May 15.
The Bruins went 1-2 last week, picking up a 7-3 victory over Olathe on May 5 before being swept in a doubleheader by Rangely on Saturday.
In their first game of the week, Cedaredge trailed 1-0 after the first frame but scored all seven of their runs in the second and third innings to eventually secure the victory.
Brady Cooper was 2-for-5 with three RBI and a double, joined by Colten Hutto as the Bruins with extra-base hits.
Cedaredge will travel to Aspen on Wednesday with first pitch at 4 p.m. They’ll return home for a doubleheader against Coal Ridge at 11 a.m. Saturday and head to Parachute on May 15 to play Grand Valley at 4 p.m.
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