Panther Baseball Captures Third Place at NACA Tournament

Providence (V) 14                            Providence Eagles 3

The Providence Panthers closed out their year in style by defeating the Providence Eagles (Johnson City, Tennessee) 14-3 to win third place at the NACA tournament in Dayton, Tennessee. Batting as the visiting team for the first time the whole tournament, the Panthers roared out of their den in the top of the first inning to score ten runs and essentially ending the game almost as soon as it had started. Anderson Blevins and Caleb Wilson walked to begin the game. Clay Dickinson singled with one out driving in the first run of the game. James Reed followed that with a single to score another run. With two outs and runners at first and second, Pat Brunson lifted a fly ball to the left fielder; who should have made an easy catch to end the inning; however, the ball glanced harmlessly off of his glove and James Reed scored on the play and the inning continued. Jacob Cain was the next batter and hit a double to score Jake Brunson. Anderson, batting for the second time in the inning, reached on an error which also allowed Jake to score. Caleb Wilson followed with a single scoring Anderson. Alex Blevins doubled in Caleb and Clay knocked his second hit of the inning to left field scoring Alex and bringing the scoring binge to an end. After the top of the first inning, the score was 10-0 Panthers and most of the uncertainty about the outcome of the game had vanished before the Eagles even had a chance to bat. The Providence Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning, helped along by some uncharacteristic errors by the Panthers in the field; but the Panthers put the game away, once and for all, in the top of the fifth inning by scoring another four runs. The big blow was a two run double by James Reed. For the game, the Panthers had twelve hits. Clay Dickinson and James Reed both had three hits, with both slamming a double. Anderson, Caleb Wilson, Alex Blevins, Jake Brunson, Jacob Cain and Daniel Barfield collected the other hits. Alex and Jacob Cain’s hits were doubles. Caleb, Alex, Clay and Jacob all had two RBI’s and James Reed had three. JC Ellis was the winning pitcher, pitching all five innings. He gave up three runs (all unearned) on four hits. He walked one and struck out one. This victory gave the Panthers the third place trophy but even more gratifying was that the Panthers competitors voted the Sportsmanship trophy to our team. The Panthers played solid defense for the whole tournament but just could not score runs in some of the games against quality pitching. Alex Blevins, Jake Brunson and Caleb Wilson were named to the all-tournament team. The Panthers varsity team finished their season at 18-7.