AURORA — Back for his second stint with the Boulder baseball team, head coach Jack Taylor wasted little time reintegrating himself into the Panthers dugout while leading the Boulder boys to a Legion B state championship this past summer.
After a 2017 spring campaign in which the Panthers felt they underachieved, the chemistry they built during the dog days apparently has allowed the Panthers to hit the ground running so far this season. On the road Saturday, the Panthers won 10-3 over Rangeview and improved to 2-0 in March.
Having outscored their first two opponents 26-3, there's nothing underachieving about the Panthers' opening week in 2018.
"It's early in the season and we're trying to get some momentum going," Panthers senior Sean Coan said. "I was on that team this summer and a lot of the other guys were also. We really bonded together, especially with coach, and we got some good team baseball going. I feel like that's carried over really well and it shows because we're playing like a team."
The Panthers (2-0) led early after a three-run second inning on Saturday afternoon. The Raiders (0-4) tied the game in the third before the Panthers eventually responded by breaking the game wide open with seven runs in the fifth.
After kicking off the spring with a 16-0 win over Prairie View on Tuesday, Taylor said he was pleased with how his team responded to its first real pressure situation of the season.
"To give up a lead, stop it and come back in the next inning with a seven-run inning was huge," Taylor said. "In our last game, we hit and hit and hit, and they just couldn't get us out. Today, again, our bats were strong but our pitching was also strong and it was nice to see them put both together in a tied game and get a win that way."
With starting pitcher Sanjay Solomon striking out six batters while giving up one earned run over four innings on the mound, the Panthers scored their 10 runs on 10 hits. Coen was 2 for 2 at the plate and sophomore Dorsey Chatham went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs. Noel Hackett helped shut down a potential middle-inning Raiders surge by striking out four and allowing just one hit in two scoreless innings of relief.
The Panthers will look get to 3-0 on the young season when they host Fruita Monument (4-2) next Saturday before taking a spring break trip to Arizona where they will face some tough teams from Illinois, California and Arizona.
"Right now, we're playing good baseball and we don't have much of a let-down between any guy that comes into the game," Taylor said. "It is early but we're playing with a lot of confidence. We're going to have to keep getting better and we're going to see some tougher teams, particularly in our Front Range League, but so far they've really come together and played well."
Boulder 10, Rangeview 3
At Rangeview H.S.
Boulder (2-0) 030 070 0 — 10 10 2
Rangeview (0-4) 003 000 0 — 3 6 3
W — Solomon. L — Mendoza.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Yuill 3-1-10, Harris 2-1-1-2, Stansel 4-1-1-0, Dinkel 4-0-1-1, Coan 2-2-2-0, Prout 3-2-1-1, Furie 0-0-0-0, Chatham 3-2-2-2, Wymore 3-0-0-0, Lim 1-0-0-0, Suchor 3-1-1-2. Totals 28-10-10-8. SB — Coan, Harris, Yuill.
Rangeview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Peacock 4-0-1-0, Benvides 4-1-2-0, Ohu 3-1-1-0, Cooper 3-1-1-0, Vancore 3-0-0-0, Gaffney 3-0-0-1, Fierro 3-0-0-0, Etter 3-0-1-0, Louie 3-0-0-0, De La Cruz 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-3-6-1. 3B —Benavides.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Solomon 4-5-3-1-0-6, Hackett 2-1-0-0-0-4, Chatham 1-0-0-0-1-1.
Rangeview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Mendoza 4.2-9-10-9-5-2, Estrada 2.1-1-0-0-0-0.