Panthers split double header with Aspen, move to 1-2 |

Panthers split double header with Aspen, move to 1-2

The Middle Park Panthers Baseball Team split games in a double header with the Aspen Skiers this weekend, moving to 1-2 on the year. The Panthers came out flat in the first game, losing 4-0, before notching their first win of the season, 6-4.

Sophomore Jacob Smith took the rubber in the first game, and managed the Aspen lineup well. Smith went the distance with three runs (one earned), six hits, a walk and six strikeouts. Offense was the problem for Middle Park, as they were unable to get anything going against Aspen starter Jamison Fuentes, who threw a 14-K shutout and yielded just five base runners to the Panthers.

Junior Turner Bjerken, Sophomore James Gallegos and Senior Boston Gleich each went 1-for-3.

Things turned around quickly for Middle Park in the second game. Gallegos got the start and hurled seven innings of four-run-ball (one earned), allowed four hits, one walk and struck out eight. This time around, the solid outing was met with support from the offense.

Gleich added three more hits to his ledger, going 3-for-4 with a run in the second game. Senior Sam Colley went 1-for-2 with two runs and a walk, Senior Kyger Mintken went 1-for-3 with a run and RBI. Gallegos helped himself out going 1-for-2 with a run and a walk.

Gleich is leading the team in hitting with a .545 average in the early going, followed by Gallegos and Bjerken who are each hitting a clean .500.

While the pitching looked good this weekend, and the offense has shown signs of taking off, defense seems to remain an issue for the Panthers. Middle Park is fielding just .831 so far this season, committing a troubling 13 errors in the first three games of the year.

Up next for the Panthers is a road game against the 3-1 Lyons Lions. The Lions look great on paper. Despite a 4-2 loss to Platte Valley last week, the Lions are outscoring opponents 45-8 this season, led by star player Senior Justin Lear, a dual threat in the box and on the mound. Lear is sitting on an insane 2.041 OPS through four games, with a homer, triple, eight runs and eight RBI. In his two pitching outings he’s thrown five scoreless innings, and has a 25.2 K/9 on the year.

*The Panthers were scheduled to play the Lyons Lions after the Sky-Hi News deadline on Thursday.

The Panthers tango with the Jefferson Saints on March 23, and have a long break before returning home to take on the DSST: Stapleton Knights at home on April 11.

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