After winning a pair of conference baseball games the Delta Panthers completed the 2017 league schedule with a 9-0 record and 15-4 overall. Delta defeated Gunnison 24-1, in Gunnison, on May 4. Grand Valley's Cardinals visited Delta on May 6 and were dealt a 16-2 loss to complete the sweep of league foes.
Delta's losses on the season came at the hands of 5A Grand Junction (6-5), 4A Valor Christian (9-4), 2A Paonia (4-2) and Hotchkiss (2-1).
With last week's wins the Panthers are looking to host a regional playoff this week. In the latest rankings from Maxpreps, Delta is seventh in Class 3A.
Delta 24, Gunnison 1
Once the Panthers got to Gunnison ace Trent Cribari, the rest was all big bats and execution.
Delta scored first with Tristan Brown reaching base on a single and then trotted home on Justin Violett's home run after the Panthers had started with two outs in the top of the first inning.
Gunnison got a two-out hit from Cribari and a double from Josh Wallin. A throwing error accounted for the lone run score by Cribari.
With help from a mostly clear and high sky, the Panthers were able to send seven batters to the plate with five hits producing four runs. The sun made life miserable for Cowboy outfielders with several dropped balls on the day adding to the run production of Delta's offense.
With a 6-1 lead heading into the third inning Delta got more help from the sun, along with five hits and two errors as the Panthers raced around the bases for seven more runs to take a 13-1 lead.
Another six runs in the fourth, including a Josh Reeder home run, launched Delta's lead to 19-1.
Delta's final five runs came in the sixth on a six-hit barrage for the final 24-1 win.
Drake Horn scattered three hits over four innings of work to earn his fourth win of the season. Cristian Hall worked the final inning and struck out the side to end the game.
Delta was led, offensively, by Tristan Brown's 4-4 day where he scored three times and drove in four runs. Blake Reiher had two hits (two doubles) and also knocked in four runs.
Gunnison was second in the 3A WSL coming into the game with just one loss (Coal Ridge) in league play. The Cowboys lost to University (14-4), the state's 3A third ranked team earlier in the season.
Delta 16, Cardinals 2
For the second straight game, Delta used a strong offense and 12 Grand Valley errors, to run past its 3A opponent. The Panthers had 14 hits in the game to just one for the Cardinals.
Darien Rodriguez had a double in two at bats and drove in three runs for the winners. Ty McCurdy was 2-2 with a run scored and three RBIs. Brown had a double, a triple, scored twice and knocked in two runs. Damon Jensen and Jaspar Carmichael had two hits apiece for the Panthers.
Marco Rojas had the lone hit for Grand Valley. The Cardinals two runs came on a throwing error in the fourth inning.
Blake Reiher was the winning pitcher and enters post-season play with a 4-0 record.
Sites and pairings for regional playoffs will be announced May 10.
Thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Millie Hamner, House District 61, Colorado State University plans to re-open the Rogers Mesa research site.
The facility was taken out of operation in 2011, due to budget cuts throughout the CSU system.