Panthers (MS) 7 Northside (5)
The Panther cubs avenged a loss from earlier in the season by beating Northside Academy 7-5 on a beautiful night from baseball. It feels like baseball weather is finally here to stay and that is a good thing. I’m very tired of being cold at the ball park. Unlike the last time these two teams played when Northside sprang out to an early lead and never looked back; this time the Panthers took a first inning lead. Starting pitcher, Matthew Derrick held the Northside squad scoreless in the first; striking out two of the three batters he faced. In the bottom of the frame, the starting pitcher for Northside (Stamey) struggled with his control. He walked the first four batters he faced and three of them eventually came around to score, advancing on the other walks and wild pitches. The last run of the inning for the Panthers scored on a nice sacrifice bunt by Avery Blevins as Cal Hucks scored on a close play at the plate. The Northside starting pitcher was pulled after the four straight walks and Davis Motley was brought in to restore order. The Warriors from Northside got one back in the top of the second inning after their clean-up hitter (Stamey) hit a triple to start the inning. The Panthers responded in kind by scoring one of their own. Caleb Green hit a double with two outs and eventually scored on a passed ball. After a scoreless third inning, the Panthers added one more to their total in the bottom of the fourth inning. Daniel Williams was walked and promptly stole second base. After getting to third base on a passed ball, he scored on an RBI groundout by Micah West making the score 5-1 Panthers. The Northside team made the game a lot more interesting by plating three runs in the top of the fifth inning off of Panther pitcher Danny Waller. The first batter of the inning was hit by a pitch. The second walked and the third batter popped up to the pitcher. Stamey hit a hard grounder to short which was mishandled for an error. The next Northside hitter hit a double to score the first run of the inning and Levi Patterson followed that up by hitting a triple to score the last two runs of the inning. The Panthers were held scoreless in the bottom of the fifth and held onto their one run lead through Northside’s at bat in the top of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers scored two runs to give themselves a little bit of breathing room. David Hucks led off with a single to left field and advanced to second on a balk by the Warrior pitcher. Avery grounded out to the first baseman advancing David to third base. After the second out of the inning, Micah West lined a single to left field scoring David. Samuel Leslie hit for Jackson Gleaton and reached on an error by the Warrior shortstop. Jacob Robinson pinch hit for Caleb Green and hit a single to score Micah from third base to complete the scoring for the Panthers. The Warriors entered the last inning needing three runs to tie and only managed to score one before the third out was recorded ending the game. The Panthers only got five hits for the game with no one having more than one but that was enough to get the job done. Micah West had two RBI’s. Starting pitcher Matthew Derrick turned in a fine performance pitching four innings; allowing one earned run on one hit. He struck out seven and walked two. Danny Waller relieved him on the mound and pitched three innings. He allowed four runs but only one was earned. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out five. The Panther middle school team is now 4-3 in their first season.