Panthers drop 2 at home

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Raudy Castillo tosses the ball to Kevin Morales for the first out of a double play Friday against Fruita Monument. The Panthers lost a tough one, 4-2.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

Fruita Monument threw the first punch.

Montezuma-Cortez High School hit right back Friday at McAndrew Field.

Tied 2-2 after one inning, the score remained the same going into the seventh inning.

The visiting Wildcats wore down Panthers starting pitcher Dakota "Buddha" Goosen and put two men on in the top of the seventh.

Unfortunately, those two Wildcats scored and M-CHS didn't have an answer in the bottom half, losing 4-2.

"A few mistakes here and there, and we had some questionable calls, we ended up giving them two runs," Montezuma-Cortez coach Matt Betts said. "We just couldn't answer back and lost out in the bottom of the seventh."

On Saturday, the Panthers were snake bitten emotionally and were conquered by the Grand Junction Central Warriors, 17-0 in five innings.

"If we want to be competitive in the this league, we have to be able to compete well one day, and come back and answer again the very next (day)," Betts said.

M-CHS (6-4, 0-3 Southwestern League) and Fruita (7-6, 2-2 SWL) each recorded six hits in the game. Both teams played stout defense, too, but the Wildcats had a little more left in the tank at the end.

Goosen pitched a full seven innings for the Panthers.

"Dakota Goosen pitched a very good game," Betts said. "He hit his spots. He kept the Fruita guys from getting any real big hits. When they did, our defense was on. They knew they were in the game the whole time. They never gave Fruita an extra inch."

Now, the Panthers shift gears, and hit the road for games at Montrose and Grand Junction.

"We have to recommit our focus," Betts said. "We need to use the loss against Central as a stepping stone of what not to do - of how not to show up for a game."

M-CHS hosted the undefeated Montrose Indians (10-0, 3-0 SWL) on March 29, and played even for four innings. Montrose broke the game open in the fifth with 10 runs to win 14-4.

"It was still a very tough game. That was just one inning," Betts said. "We have to come in with the mindset that we can play with them."

The Panthers have not yet met the Grand Junction Tigers (6-4, 1-1 SWL) this season.

Konnar McGee (3-0) is slated to start on the mound against Montrose. Dayne Black will throw the first pitch versus Grand Junction.

M-CHS plays the Indians and Tigers on Friday and Saturday afternoon at 4 and 12:30.

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