BELGRADE — Just two weeks ago, Medina field was covered in snow. Many thought May would be the most realistic start date for a home baseball game for the Panthers.
But after those long weeks of hoping, the team's wish came true and was able to grace its home digs just over two weeks into April.
“I’m pretty sure we’ve only had three outdoor practices, and so, for them to get on the Bandit field and play here at Medina, it’s just huge for them," coach Joel Barnett said.
Frankly, you wouldn’t be able to tell the Panthers have barely practiced on their own field because it was them right out of the gate.
You could see their drive in wanting to prove just why they're a baseball town.
Collin Delph was the first to score, and he did so through a stolen home plate in the second inning.
Delph came into this season the best pitcher in the state, and he’s proving he can do it all.
“I mean it’s really just a process we go through every game," Delph said. I mean, you just stay dialed in. I try and keep my pace just quick and to the point.”
The third inning is where things really heated up with five runs scored for the Panthers. After no runs in the fourth, 2 Panthers scored in the fifth,
They had an 8-0 lead going into the sixth. Brody Jacksha scored in that sixth inning, but so did Butte High.
The Bulldogs scored 3 more times in the top of the seventh, but Belgrade was able to clinch and win 9-4.
“We have a lot of good senior leadership, but then also all the others guys are great leaders too," Barnett said. "And, they’re all very good to each other, very good to the young guys on the JV team. It’s just a culture that we have going here, and I think that it (goes) from the coaches all the way down to the JV guys. It’s a very special culture that we’re building here."
A culture they will continue to build on as the inaugural season progresses.