Panthers' title hopes drowned by Storm

Panthers' season ends with 10-2 loss to Cleveland

Karl Schneider

ALBUQUERQUE — Today simply wasn't the Piedra Vista baseball team's day.

Cleveland's Giacomo Musante slides under the tag from Piedra Vista's Andrew Caliendo on Friday at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.

The Panthers ran into a Cleveland squad that hit seemingly everything it swung at, blasting PV for 13 hits en route to a 10-2 victory in the semifinals of the 6A state tournament at Isotopes Park.

It was the first loss of the season for Brendan Anderson, who couldn't get his pitches past the Storm batters, no matter what he did.

"What are you going to do?" PV coach Mike McGaha asked rhetorically after the game. "I looked at Brendan, and he said, 'It doesn't matter where I throw it, they whack it.' He's never been hit like that before. Maybe it was a bad day to learn that lesson, but maybe it was the best day to learn that lesson. Some days, it doesn't go the way you want it to."

PV took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Devin Ferrari hit a two-out double to deep left field, scoring Nate Swarts from second.

But Cleveland answered in the bottom of the frame, scoring three runs.

The Storm kept rolling after that, scoring three runs in the third to go up 6-1.

Piedra Vista shortstop Cody McGaha fields a grounder against Cleveland on Friday at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.

PV senior catcher Andrew Caliendo said that after the third inning the dugout collectively seemed to lose its spark, with the team almost questioning what there was the Panthers could do to overcome the Storm.

"After the second time they scored three runs, that was pretty demoralizing. But I don't think we lost, they just beat us," Caliendo said. "(Anderson) hit his spots, and they just shelled them. You can't really do anything against that."

PV got a run back in the fourth, again with Swarts scoring on a Ferrari RBI.

But again, the Storm answered, this time scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 10-2 lead.

After the game, the majority of the Panthers remained upbeat. It wasn't the result they were looking for, but most of them understood there would be more games to come.

"I feel better than I thought I would — I really do. I'm still going to see these guys every day, and that's all I've cared about," Caliendo said. "Yes, it'd be awesome to win a state championship — that's everybody's dream. But these guys have summer workouts, and I'm going to be there every day with them. It's not like I'm going to disappear, or any of them are, and that's what has scared me the most. I realized we have forever. I'm never going to leave these guys."

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.