Panthers get back on track with 30-1 victory

Woodland Park baseball team is 3-6

Paul Magnuson
See the ball, hit the ball. That’s what Woodland Park’s Kayden Osborn has done a lot of this year. The senior leads the team in RBI’s and home runs.
Danny Summers

Home plate got trampled on early and often during Woodland Park’s dominating 30-1 victory over Harrison on April 11. The Class 4A Metro League game, which was played at Harrison, was called after three innings due to the run rule.

Senior Carl Loy had four RBI’s and scored four runs. Junior Dakota Herman had four hits (three triples), four RBIs and scored four runs.

Also with big games for the Panthers were sophomore Jake Jansma (four runs, three hits, three RBIs), senior Logan Watters (four runs, two RBIs, two hits) and sophomore Jason Kekich (two hits, three RBIs).

“We needed this,” said Woodland Park coach Cliff Richardson. “This was a chance to get our confidence back.

“We’ve been dealing with a lot of different things lately and this is the kind of the game that can bring you together as a team.”

The victory broke a three-game losing streak for the Panthers, who have also had to endure games postponed due to weather, as well as other player-related issues.

“We only took 11 kids with us to Harrison,” Richardson said. “We were able to focus and work on the little things.”

The victory over Harrison was a 180-degree turnaround from earlier in the week when the Panthers were blanked by Pueblo South, 10-0, in a shortened six-inning affair at Runyon Field in Pueblo.

Woodland Park is 3-6 overall, 1-1 in league. The Panthers continue an interesting stretch in which they have non-league games sprinkled in with conference matchups. They hosted Sierra in a league game on April 14 and Valor Christian in a non-league game on April 15 (results were not available at press time).

Woodland Park has a critical game at Widefield on April 18. Richardson has aligned his pitching to give his club the best matchups. Herman, a left-hander and the ace of the staff, will go against Harrison. Herman is hoping to get untracked after allowing eight earned runs against Pueblo South in his worst outing of the season.

“We’re going to throw him against Sierra, but have him on a pitch count so he’s ready to go against Widefield,” Richardson said. “We’d like to bring him back against Mesa Ridge on April 22, but it would be hard to do that if he throws 100 pitches against Widefield.”

Also expected to see considerable time on the mound are seniors Kayden Osborn and Keegan Harman. Among others available to pitch if needed are Anthony Woods, Cody Hedges, Loy and Jansma.

“We’ve had to face a lot of adversity, and this season hasn’t played out as we had hoped, but we have a chance to get back on track and finish strong,” Richardson said. “You need nine guys on the field who will say I want to be the one to make the play.”