The Panthers prevailed 11-10 in exciting fashion against the Heathwood Highlanders on Friday night at Bray Park. The game was tied after seven innings before moving into extra innings where the Panthers were victorious due to a walk off home run.
Both team were scoreless in the first inning. The Panthers opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning by plating two runs. Connor Shealy was hit by a pitch with one out and then Micaiah Hinkle drew a walk. Connor was thrown stealing third base. Drew McKay singled and Samuel Leslie was hit to load the bases for Avery. Avery singled to knock in both Micaiah and Drew.
The Highlanders took the lead in the top of the third inning by plating three runs when Mac Hardy slammed a home run to left field with two runners aboard. The Panthers responded in kind by scoring three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Micaiah hit into a fielder’s choice driving in Caleb Green and then Drew McKay doubled to score Connor and Micaiah. The Panthers led 5-3 after three innings.
The Highlanders scored four in the top of the fourth to take a two run lead. Wade Allen and Thomas Haerts both had two run doubles. The Panthers tied the game back up in the bottom of the frame when McKinley Proctor singled and scored on Micah West’s double. Micah scored on a single by David Hucks.
The Panthers regained the lead in the fifth inning when the Highlanders were scoreless and the Panthers had two runs cross the plate. Samuel and McKinley both drew walks and then scored on a double to left field by Caleb.
The Highlanders crawled to within one run in the top of the sixth, scoring that run on a wild pitch. The Panthers were not able to score so after six the Panthers led 8-7. Heathwood took the lead in the top of the seventh by scoring two runs with both scoring on a single by Wade Allen. The Panthers now trailed by one run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Micah West walked and advanced to third on a single by Caleb. Micah scored on a sacrifice fly by Connor Shealy. The Highlanders got out of the inning without any further damage being done so the game was tied 10-10 and headed into extra innings.
The Highlanders got one runner on in the top of the 8th inning but they were only able to advance that runner as far as second. The Panthers came up to bat with the game still tied. Avery came to bat with one out in the inning. He slammed a ball to deep centerfield and the race was on. The Heathwood centerfielder raced after the ball which had come to rest against the fence while Avery was sprinting around the bases. The centerfielder grabbed the ball and begin the relay to get it back into the infield. Avery passed third and headed for home while the ball finished its journey. In a very close play, Avery slid into home just ahead of the throw for a walk off home run to give the Panthers the victory.
The Panthers had thirteen hits in the victory. Avery had three of the hits and two RB’s. Caleb Green also had three hits with two singles and a double. He knocked in two runs. Connor Shealy had two singles and one RBI while Drew McKay had a single and a double and two RBI’s. Others with hits include Micah West (ground rule double), McKinley Proctor and David Hucks.
David Hucks was the starting pitcher for PAC. He pitched two and two thirds innings allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits. He struck out one batter and walked four. He was replaced by Micah West who pitched two and one third innings allowing four earned runs on two hits. He struck out four and walked one. Dan Beam pitched two innings allowing three runs none of which were earned. He struck out two and gave up two hits. Samuel Leslie pitched the 8th inning only allowing one hit. Sam was the pitcher of record when Avery hit his homerun so Samuel (1-0) gets the pitching victory.
Game Notes: The Panthers had thirty productive at bats in the game (moving into second place for most productive at bats in a single game). Avery, Micah West, Caleb and Connor all had four. The Panther had eight assists and were led by Samuel Leslie who had five (this tied Samuel for the second most assists in a game). The Panther record is now 9-3.