The Peñasco Panthers baseball team opened their season with an 18-9 win Friday (March 22) in Antonito, Colorado.

Beneath gray skies, the Panthers endured snow flurries and freezing temperatures to secure their early-season victory. In spite of the cold, the teams played a complete game of seven innings.

Peñasco opened the game with one run in the first, which Antonito followed with two more in the bottom of the inning, making it 2-1. After a scoreless second inning, Antonito maintained their narrow 2-1 lead.

The third inning was high-scoring on both sides. Peñasco brought three runners home, giving themselves a 4-2 advantage. While Peñasco warmed up their relief pitcher, Antonito came back with 6. They opened the fourth inning defending their sizable 8-4 lead.

With junior Chaske Dyer on the mound, Peñasco was able to regain control. They allowed only one more run in the remainder of the game while scoring four in the fourth inning to tie the game, six in the fifth for a 14-9 lead, and two more each of the sixth and seventh innings for a final score of 18-9.

Both teams made a hobby of stealing second and sometimes even third or home. Only once did this result in one of baseball's most delightful conundrums: a runner stuck between two plates. On his way toward stealing third during the fifth inning, Peñasco freshman Juan Arrellano found himself stranded between second and third. Usually these plays end with either an out or an error by the defense.

There were several go-rounds of chasing and attempts to throw or tag Arrellano out before a mishandled ball at second base gave him the opportunity he needed to make it to third - and then all the way home!

On Monday (March 25) the Panthers lost 19-1 at home to the 2018 AA state champions, the Mora Rangers. Tuesday (March 26) they play Desert Academy after this section goes to press.

They travel to Franklin Miles to play Tierra Encantada on Thursday (March 28) at 4 p.m. and then host two double-headers on consecutive days. Jemez Valley visits Peñasco on Monday (April 1) for games at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., and Questa comes to Panther territory to play Tuesday (April 2), also for games at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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