Former Panthers meet in playoff game

Published 2:45 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

It’ll be a LaGrange College baseball reunion.

The Pecos League playoffs will continue today, with the High Desert Yardbirds taking on the Tucson Saguaros.

The game will feature four former LaGrange College baseball players.

Blake Butcher, Blane Swift and Jonathan Fleckenstein play for the Yardbirds, while Eric Morrell is a pitcher for the Saguaros.

Butcher, Swift and Fleckenstein were seniors on the LaGrange College team that went 40-6 last season and won a conference championship, and Morrell was a senior on the 2016 team.

The Yardbirds and the Saguaros are both inaugural members of the Pecos League.

Morell, who went 8-2 during his senior season with the Panthers, has been perfect this summer.

Morell has started 10 games for the Saguaros, and he is 8-0 with a 4.09 earned run average.

Swift, Butcher and Fleckenstein have each enjoyed strong seasons for the Yardbirds.

Swift, a second baseman, is hitting .356, and he has three triples, 10 doubles, and 28 RBIs.

Butcher, a third baseman, is hitting .308 with two triples, a home run 11 doubles and 21 RBIs.

Fleckenstein is a relief pitcher for the Yardbirds, and he is 4-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 16 appearances.