Panther Baseball Advances to Division #2 Championship at NACA but fall 7-5 to the Tennessee Flames

The Panthers lost the NACA Division #2 championship to the Tennessee Flames by a score of 7-5. This was a well-played game that just did not go the Panthers way.

The Flames scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. They got five hits, several of which were of the infield variety, to score their runs.

The Panthers took a short lead in the top of the third inning. Avery Blevins singled with one out. McKinley doubled to put runners at second and third. Micah West hit a sacrifice fly to score Avery from third. Caleb Green doubled to score McKinley. David Hucks then came to the plate and stroked his second home run of the tournament; a two run shot to left field.

The Flames did not back down, however, and scored two runs in the bottom of the frame to take the lead back by a score of 5-4. They had two hits and one hit batsman in their rally. They added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 7-4 lead into the last inning.

The game Panthers never give up and they tried their best to comeback and spoil the Flames party. Alex McKay led off with a bunt single and advanced to second when the pitcher’s throw got away from their first baseman. Avery lined out to the Flames right fielder for the first out of the inning. Alex advanced to third on Avery’s fly ball. McKinley Proctor reached on a walk, putting runners on first and third. Micah West singled to score Alex and move McKinley to third. Caleb Green walked to load the bases and the Panthers seemed to be in business with still only one out; however, two straight fly outs by Panther batters handed the Flames their championship.

The Panthers had nine hits in the game. David Hucks had a home run and two singles. Others with hits include Avery, McKinley (double), Caleb (double), Micaiah Hinkle and Alex McKay.

Micah West (5-3) took the loss for the Panthers on the mound. He allowed six earned runs on nine hits in four innings of work.   Dan Beam pitched the final two innings allowing one unearned run.

Game Notes: The loss drops the Panthers record to 14-8 (we did not play as many games this year as we had seven rainouts). The Panthers have now won two NACA championships (Division #3 in 2015 and Division #2 in 2017). They have lost the Division two championships in 2016 and 2018.

The Panthers had three players selected to the all-tournament team. The first was David Hucks who was also selected Division #2’s best offensive player. He hit .571 and slugged two home runs while pitching and playing first base. He scored four runs and had with RBI’s. The second was Micah West who hit .357 and scored five runs and had eight RBI’s. Micah pitched the Panthers to victory against the Landmark White team and started the championship game for PAC on the mound, helping keep us in the game until we just ran out of innings. The third was Avery Blevins. Avery played second base for the Panthers and served as our lead-off batter. Avery hit .461 for the tournament with four RBI’s and led the team in runs scored (8). He also played excellent defense leading the team with seven assists.

Other Games at NACA

Panthers – 22                     Cross Roads Academy (TN) – 7

The Panthers started play in the 2018 NACA Tournament (Division #2) by taking on the Stallions from Cross Roads Academy in Tennessee. The Panthers scored five in the first inning due to two big blows. The first was a two run rbi triple by Micah West. The second was a three run homerun by David Hucks (his first of the year).

The Panthers led comfortably until the fifth inning and then the wheels really came off for Cross Roads. The Panthers scored 16 runs on six hits as Stallion pitching helped the Panthers along by giving us ten free passes to first (by walks or hit by pitch). The Stallions scored four runs in their half of the fifth but it was way too little too late.

David Hucks had the aforementioned homerun and a double, knocking in five runs. Micah West and Drew McKay both had four rbi’s; Micah with his triple, a hit by pitch and a walk, and, Drew with a single and a fielder’s choice. Avery Blevins and McKinley Proctor both had two RBI’s and two singles.

Dan Beam was the starting pitcher for PAC. He pitched four innings in earning the win (5-1). He struck out five and allowed five hits. He gave up three runs, two of which were earned. Josh Quill and Caleb Green closed out the game for PAC on the mound.

Game Notes: The Panthers tied or set several records in this game. Tied records: runs scored (22) and RBI’s by a single batter (David Hucks (5)). New record: RBI’s in a game (20). The win improves the Panther’s record to 13-6.

Panthers – 3                       Providence Academy (TN) – 7

The Panthers lost the second game at the 2018 NACA tournament. This game was across brackets so the game was not as important in the tournament format, so the coaches decided going in that they were going to conserve pitching as much as possible, even if that decision led to a loss.

The Panthers took the lead in the third inning when Avery Blevins and McKinley Proctor both singled with one out. Caleb Green doubled to score both runners. They added their third run in the fifth inning when Caleb singled and later scored on a single by Connor Shealy.

The Knights from Providence Academy scored a single run in the third; five runs in the sixth inning and one in the seventh to put the game away.

David Hucks started and pitched four innings, allowing one earned run on four hits. Samuel Leslie followed him to the mound and allowed five earned runs on five hits. Samuel (1-2) took the loss for the game.

Game Notes: As stated earlier, this game was not as important as the Panthers could lose this game and still advance to the championship if they won their next game. The Panthers had eleven hits and were led by Avery Blevins with three singles; Caleb Green with a double and a single; David Hucks with two singles: and Alex McKay with two singles. The loss dropped the Panthers record to 13-7.

Panthers – 16                     Landmark White (OH) – 3

The Panthers advanced to the NACA Division #2 championship game with a convincing 16-3 victory over Landmark from Cincinnati, Ohio. Micah West (5-2) pitched the Panthers to victory with four solid innings. He allowed three earned runs on four hits while striking out three. Caleb Green pitched the final inning allowing just one hit.

The Panthers scored one run in the first; two in the second; six in the third; two in the fourth; and, five in the fifth. They were led by Avery Blevins who scored four runs and had two RBI’s on a double to center field. McKinley Proctor knocked in four runs and had a triple. Micah West had two singles and knocked in three runs. Others with hits include Caleb Green, David Hucks, Connor Shealy (double) and Drew McKay.

Game Notes: The victory improves the Panthers to 14-7 and sends them into the NACA Division #2 championship.