PUEBLO - Peyton baseball coach Kelly Nickell believes his 2019 lineup is one of the best in the state.
And they have the numbers to prove it.
Specifically, the Panthers' 2-3-4 hitters who have been a lethal combination throughout the season. Jaeden Meyers, Peyton’s No. 2 hitter, leads the team with a .524 batting average, followed by Rodney Gregg and Rupert Shaw, who have nearly identical numbers, hitting .478 and .476, respectively.
“It’s pretty brutal - we’re a potent lineup when we are hitting on all cylinders,” said Gregg.
But Gregg and Shaw’s similarities don’t stop at the plate. They’re both first basemen and starting pitchers who had a vital role in Peyton’s state title.
Gregg pitched a complete game with six shutout innings in the Panthers’ semifinal win over Wiggins, while Shaw dealt for seven innings in a three-hit shutout for the championship.
“Every pitch I threw I felt in the zone,” said Shaw, who played first base the game before.
But prior to the 2019 season, Shaw was a shortstop. The senior transitioned to first base to help fill the gap when Gregg was pitching.
“The transition was pretty easy,” Shaw said. “There’s not much you have to do with a team this good, you just stand there and catch the ball.”
“They’ve been a great 1-2 punch all year,” Nickell said. “And to throw Jaeden in there with them, it’s nice to have the best three players in the state in your lineup like that.”
With Gregg and Shaw both starting in the state championship doubleheader, Meyers was the team’s No. 1 in relief. Heading into the weekend, Meyers had a 0.82 ERA and 27 strikeouts through 17 innings of relief. Meyers is also the team’s leader in stolen bases and has a .944 fielding percentage with just two errors on the year.