And the drama continues.
The Region 5 3A baseball tournament endured another twist at the hands of Mother Nature, as Montezuma-Cortez and The Classical Academy looked to sort out the regional championship, after having Saturday’s action limited by rain as well.
M-CHS and TCA struck for big innings against each another right before the clouds rolled in and paused another day’s action at McAndrew Field in Cortez. The Titans hold a 5-4 lead over Montezuma-Cortez, but the Panthers will begin Monday’s action on offense in the bottom of the fourth inning when the teams take the field at 11 a.m.
The No. 21 Titans navigated their Sunday morning semifinal against No. 12 Berthoud with a 7-5 victory, setting up a showdown with the No. 5 Panthers – who had beaten Gunnison the night before.
M-CHS opened the scoring in the bottom of the first after junior pitcher Miles Frost produced a 1-2-3 inning to start the game.
Senior Jake Blackmer drilled a double into the right-centerfield gap to score classmate Evan LaMunyon, who had walked with one out.
Then, the defense flashed the leather in the second inning, as sophomore left fielder tracked a long fly ball to the wall, and making a great grab. After the Titans put together consecutive singles, Frost extinguished the threat by snagging a popped-up bunt attempt, then doubling off the runner at second for a double play.
Holding their 1-0 lead into the third, TCA scratched out a pair of base runners to generate a threat with two outs in the inning. From there, four consecutive fly balls all found their way into holes, scoring five Titans and giving the visitors a 5-1 lead.
M-CHS generated an immediate response, as freshman Cory Carver led off the bottom of the third with a single, before moving over on a groundout and steal, then scoring on a wild pitch to cut into the deficit. Blackmer followed with a single, then freshman Darren Daves drew a walk, setting up senior Braden Hallman with a chance to drive in runs.
The senior came through with an infield hit, followed by a pair of Titan throwing errors that led to two more Panther runs and a 5-4 score line.
After the Panthers closed down TCA in the top half of the fourth, a lightning delay followed by a downpour put the game on hold – setting up the dramatic Monday matinee conclusion. The Panthers will head to the dish in the bottom of the fourth with an 11 a.m. resumption to play, with a spot in the state tournament in Greeley hanging in the balance.