Panthers Stymie Crusaders on the Diamond 7-1

The Varsity Panthers moved up their game with the Crusaders from Laurens Academy from Thursday night to Wednesday night to avoid the rain and then moved up their win total for the year from six to seven.  Trevor Dacus was dominant on the mound, pitching a complete game for the Panthers only allowing the one earned run.  He gave up three hits, struck out four and walked four.  He faced the minimum of three batters in three innings and, other than the player who scored, only allowed one other Crusader batter to reach third base.  The Crusaders hit a lot of ground balls against Trevor and the Panther infield was up to the task, turning one double play and making every play there was to make.  Shortstop Anderson Blevins had five assists and second baseman, Cole Plyler had three assists.  The Panthers struck first in the top of the first inning when James Reed reached first on an infield single, and scored on a double by Clay Dickinson.  After a quiet second inning, the Panthers added two runs in the top of the third.  Anderson led off with an infield single and he advanced to second when Pat Brunson was hit by a pitch.  James Reed singled to score Anderson from second and Clay reached on an error to load the bases.  Trevor Dacus hit into a 4-6-3 (second-short-first) double play that scored Pat from third.  The Crusader shortstop (Austin Fowler) then made a nice play on a hard grounder by Cal Hucks up the middle to rob Cal of a hit and an RBI to end the inning.  The Crusaders scraped for their lone run in the bottom of the third.  With two outs, Austin Fowler bunted to reach first base safely and then went all the way to third when the Panther throw to first sailed over the first baseman’s head.  Austin then stole home scoring when Trevor’s pitch, a breaking ball, was in the dirt preventing the Panthers catcher, Daniel Williams, from fielding the ball cleanly.  The Panthers got that run back right away scoring once in the top of the fourth inning.  Cole Plyler was hit by a pitch and was advanced to second on a nice sacrifice bunt by Daniel Williams.  Anderson then lined a pitch into left field scoring Cole from second.  The Panthers added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning.  James Reed and Clay Dickinson had back to back singles to open the inning.  Trevor Dacus then walked to load the bases.  James Reed scored on an infield single by John Edens and Clay scored on a fielder’s choice off of the bat of Carson Floyd.  The Panthers scored their last run in the top of sixth inning.  James Reed singled with two outs and Clay Dickinson hit a long double that rattled the fence down the left field line, easily scoring James on the play.  Game Notes: The Panthers had eleven total assists in the game, a mark only eclipsed by the ten inning game earlier this season against the Low Country Wildcats where the Panthers had fifteen assists. This win was Trevor’s third pitching victory of the season.  The Panthers had 23 productive at bats in this game versus a per game goal of 14.  A productive bat is one of the following eight outcomes of an at bat: 1) a hit; 2) a walk; 3) a sacrifice bunt; 4) a sacrifice fly; 5) being hit by the pitcher or reaching first due to catcher’s interference; 6) moving the lead runner up with an out; 7) moving the lead runner up on an error and 8) an eight pitch at bat (this drives up the pitcher’s pitch count quicker and possibly removes a pitcher from the game who has been effective against our hitters).