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M-CHS baseball team suffers consecutive losses against Bayfield

M-CHS pitching staff struggles to record outs against powerful Wolverines lineup
May 22, 2021Landon Gropp dives safely back to first base as the Bayfield pitcher tried to pick him off. (Sam Green/Special to The Journal)

Opening Intermountain League play with a home doubleheader against Bayfield High School on May 22, the Montezuma-Cortez High School baseball team had no trouble smashing the ball to all areas of the field and scoring runs.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Wolverines offense proved just as lethal, and Bayfield defeated M-CHS 16-13 in the opening game of the doubleheader, then pulled away for a 16-6 victory in the second game of the afternoon.

Several Panthers players chipped in offensively their team’s first game of the day, including Ernesto Padilla, John Carver, Miles Frost, Jake Blackmer and Dylan Kibel, who each drove in two runs and had at least one hit.

Among the loudest hits of Game 1 were delivered by Padilla, who hit his first home run of the season, and Kibel and Evan LaMunyon, who both crushed triples that traveled all the way to the outfield wall.

A win was not to be in spite of M-CHS’ outstanding offensive performance, however, as Bayfield hitters beat up the Panthers pitching staff while scoring eight runs in the first inning and 16 runs overall.

May 22, 2021Korie Likes beats the throw to home to score for M-CHS in the Bayfield game Saturday. (Sam Green/Special to The Journal)

Isaac Ross was among the Wolverines’ most effective hitters in the opening game of the doubleheader as he registered a game-high four hits, including a double, and drove in a game-high four runs.

Padilla started on the mound for the Panthers and allowed eight earned and struck out four batters over three innings of work. Trinidad McDonell took the mound in the fourth inning and allowed three earned runs over four innings while striking out three batters.

In the second game, M-CHS fell behind 7-0 in the opening inning and later trailed 15-0 after Bayfield scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning.

Unwilling to throw in the towel, M-CHS’ offense responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning and five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to temporarily stave off a mercy rule defeat.

A run by Bayfield in the top of the sixth inning and a scoreless bottom half of the frame sealed M-CHS’ fate, however, as the game ended after six innings with the Panthers trailing by 10 runs.

Offensive leaders for M-CHS in the second game of the doubleheader included Kibel, LaMunyon, Korie Likes, Jake Blackmer and Jeremy Ozment, who each drove in a single run for their team.

Miles Frost pitched one and two-thirds innings for M-CHS while yielding two earned runs. LaMunyon pitched four innings for the Panthers and allowed four earned runs, while Ty Blackmer yielded three earned runs while recording just one out, and Korie Likes gave up four earned runs while failing to retire a Bayfield batter.

With their record now at 3-5 overall and 0-2 in the Intermountain League, M-CHS will look to regain its momentum when it travels to Alamosa for a league matchup against the Mean Moose on May 26.