Delta and Aspen are tied, 3-0, at the top of 3A WSL standings as of last week's play. Aspen is listed first by virtue of its 6-1 overall record with the Panthers owning a 5-5 mark.
Last week's action, for Delta, was taking on the visiting Gunnison Cowboys on April 3. The Panthers had too much in the late innings for Gunnison and rolled to a 15-5 league win in five innings.
Delta eased to a 2-0 lead after two innings and was ahead 5-0 heading to the fourth frame. Gunnison rallied for four runs in the top half of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead and silence a home crowd which had believed a rout was about to happen before the Cowboys exploded for four runs.
The Panthers regained the lead with a three-run fourth and then outscored the Cowboys 7-1 in the fifth to end the game via the 10-run rule, 15-5.
Freshman Nolan Bynum got things started for Delta with a single in the first inning and later scored on a Rowyn Carmichael double. Carmichael trotted home on Dylan Hollenbeck's single to give Delta an early 2-0 lead.
After that, the Panthers fell behind on a four-run third inning in which Delta committed three errors and gave up two hits to the Cowboys.
Delta countered with a three-run third on an RBI double from Meyers and another Hollenbeck single to account for two runs. Meyers scored the third Delta run on a passed ball.
Gunnison scored its final run in the top of the fourth and Delta tacked on three more runs in a three-hit attack led by Rowyn Carmichael's three-run home run to left field. Delta led 8-5 going to the fifth.
Delta scored seven runs on four hits, four walks and an error from the Cowboys to end the game, 15-5.
Rowyn Carmichael's day was extraordinary for the junior second-baseman. His home run in the fourth inning was his first ever in any level of play. "It's the first home run I've hit in any game and at any level. I've been working on my timing," was his ready explanation for the day's success at the plate.
Carmichael finished the day with three hits in three at bats, scored three times, hit both a double and a home run and drove in five runs.
Other multiple hitters for the Panthers included Meyers (3 hits, including a double and triple), Bynum (2 hits) and Hollenbeck (2 hits).
Delta coach Steve Reiher expressed his feelings on the win and the early-innings struggles with the Cowboys. "There's always a fear with letting teams hang around until the late innings. Sometimes they get the advantage and can win games. We need to get rid of those bug-a-boo things."
Reiher further commented on his team's pitching and hitting. "I thought Drake (Horn) pitched well today, even though there was a letdown in the third. It was a good hitting day. We are starting to swing like we're capable of."
Delta began a busy schedule this week with a game against Olathe (April 10) and faces Hotchkiss (in Hotchkiss at 4 p.m.). The Panthers' final game of the week is against the visiting Paonia Eagles April 12 beginning at 4 p.m.
The Eagles are 7-0 in 2A District 3/5 standings with a 1-0 league mark. Hotchkiss is 7-0 overall and have yet to play a league game. Both teams are sitting atop Class 2A standings with their 7-0 records.