The Panthers sprang into the win column with a five inning win over the Westwood High Red Hawks in the Panther’s second and final game in the Westwood Invitational tournament. This was a pitcher’s duel early as the Panther’s Matthew Derrick and the Red Hawk’s pitcher (Anderson) blanked the opposing hitters, neither allowing a hit or a run.
The Red Hawks broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning when their shortstop (Heason) blasted a one out, double to deep right center field. The Red Hawks ended up loading the bases with two outs when two Red Hawk batters were walked. Heason then scored on a passed ball that advanced the other runners to second and third. A pop out to James Reed at shortstop ended Westwood’s threat.
The Panthers came into the last inning trailing by one run. Caleb Green led off with an infield single but was thrown out at second on a steal attempt. McKinley Proctor then singled to right field bringing Avery Blevins to the plate. He hit a dribbler to the Red Hawk third baseman who charged the ball but uncorked a wild throw into the Panther dugout advancing McKinley to third and Avery to second. Will Lawyer then hit a short pop fly into right field which fell between the first and second basemen and the right fielder. Avery advanced to third on the play and Will took second on the throw home. Parker Pocock drew a walk to load the bases. John Edens then hit a short fly ball to right field that was caught for an out, but Avery tagged and scored on the play to give the Panthers their first lead of the game. James Reed then came to bat and absolutely tagged a ball to centerfield which bounced out of the centerfielder’s glove allowing Will and Parker to score. James ended up on third base. Cal Hucks closed out the Panther scoring when he lined a single into right field scoring James.
The Red Hawks came to bat in the bottom of the fifth down by five runs. Their first batter (Bennett) stroked a single to center field. He eventually stole second due to Panther indifference and scored on a single by Barton. The Panthers closed out the game on a fly ball to center field.
Matthew Derrick (1-0) pitched a great game going 4 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits. He allowed four free passes and struck out eight. Matthew was relieved by Cal Hucks in the bottom of the fifth with one out. His first batter grounded out to James Reed at shortstop. Cal then allowed one hit and a walk before getting the final Red Hawk batter to fly out to center field.
Cal Hucks had one hit and RBI. McKinley, Caleb and Will had the other hits. Will and John Edens had RBI’s. McKinley’s, Will’s and Caleb’s hits were their first hits at the varsity level (outside of scrimmages). Will also knocked in his first RBI. The Panthers had eleven hits on the night against a goal of fourteen.
The Panthers are 1-1 on the season.