Panthers – 10 Fairfield Central High School – 6
The Panthers improved their record to 12-6 by besting the Griffins from Fairfield Central on Tuesday night at Bray Park. Danny Waller improved his record to 3-0 with a four inning effort. He allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits while racking up four strikeouts. He did not walk a batter. Matthew Derrick followed Danny to the mound, pitching the final three innings. He earned a save by allowing three earned runs on six hits.
The Griffins struck first plating one run in the top of the first. The Griffin left fielder (Woodard) reached on an error by the Panther shortstop. He then scored on a double by the Griffin first baseman Travious Williams who the Panthers could not retire all night (Mr. Williams ended the night with three doubles and one single. He scored two runs and had two RBI’s.) The Panthers answered in a big way in the bottom of the first by scoring five runs. John Edens reached on an error by the Griffin’s second baseman. Parker Pocock singled to send John to second. James Reed singled to left field and the Griffin left fielder let the ball get by him all roll all the way to the fence. John and Parker both scored and James ended up on third. James scored on a sacrifice bunt by Matthew Derrick. Avery Blevins was next up and he was hit in the head by the pitch and was sent on his way to first base (thank goodness for hard heads and even harder helmets). He went to second on a single by Danny Waller. McKinley Proctor hit a grounder to the third baseman who made a bad throw which scooted past the first baseman allowing Avery and Alex McKay (courtesy runner for Danny Waller) to score. After one inning, the Panthers led 5-1.
The Griffins were silent in the top of the second inning and the Panthers added to their lead by plating one run. John Edens reached on an error by the Griffin shortstop with one out. Parker Pocock walked to put runners at first and second. James Reed was next and absolutely smoked a ball to deep left field. The Griffin’s left fielder (Rodric Woodard) turned and ran straight back at the crack of the bat. Never turning back around, Woodard kept running and dove headlong towards the fence catching the ball over his head inches off of the ground. The Panthers on base had to scamper back to the bases they had started from to avoid being doubled up. It was without a doubt the finest catch I have seen in several years and the Panther dugout saluted his efforts appropriately. Cal salvaged the Panthers inning with a double to center field to drive in John. The Panthers now led 6-1.
The Griffins translated their defensive momentum to offensive momentum and scored two runs in the top of the third inning. A single and two consecutive doubles scored two runs. The Panthers clawed one run back in the bottom of the frame when Avery led off with a double and scored on a single by McKinley Proctor. After three, the Panthers led 7-3.
The Panthers seemingly put the game away in the bottom of the fourth inning by scoring another three runs. Parker led off with a single (his second of the game) and went to third on James’ second hit of the game. Both scored when Cal stroked a single to left field that was misplayed by the left fielder with Cal ending up at third on the play. He then scored on a ground out by Avery. The score was now 10-3 Panthers.
The Griffins made it interesting by plating three runs in the top of the fifth inning stringing together four hits making the score 10-6. The Panthers added a single run in the bottom of the sixth inning when James Reed singled and stole second base. He then danced in an out at second causing the Panther to be distracted enough to balk, sending James on to third. James then scored on a wild pitch.
The Panthers had ten hits on the night led by James who had three singles. Parker and Cal both had two (Cal’s hits included a double). Other with hits include Avery (double), Danny and McKinley. Matthew was robbed of a single when he smashed a line drive right at the Griffin second baseman. James scored three runs. Multiple Panther players scored two runs (Edens, Pocock, Blevins). The Panthers had seventeen productive at bats (against a goal of fourteen).
The Panthers now stand at 12-6 and take to the diamond again on Saturday as they host the Savannah Hurricanes in an important conference showdown at Bray Park. After surviving the storms this week, plan on coming out to support your PAC Panthers and enjoy an afternoon of baseball in the sun. The JV team plays at 11:00 while the varsity games are at 2:00 and 5:00.