The Panthers swept Ben Lippen on Wednesday night, winning the JV game 10-0 and the varsity game 10-5. In the junior varsity tilt, the Panthers dominated in all phases of the game. Trevor Dacus was stellar on the mound going six innings against the Falcons. He struck out five batters, allowed four hits and walked two. Caleb Wilson pitched the final inning giving up one hit and walking two. All game long, the two pitchers benefited from some great defense behind them. In the bottom of the first inning, the lead off Falcon batter walked and the second hitter lined a single for runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs. The third batter for the Falcons, lifted a fly ball to medium left field. Jacob Cain caught the ball (one out) and made a beautiful one hop throw to the Panther catcher James Reed who tagged the advancing runner out (two outs). After making the tag, James Reed noticed the runner on first had made a late break for second and lasered a throw down to Cole Plyler who easily applied the tag for an unusual triple play (the second in Panthers history). In the second inning, Anderson Blevins, from his shortstop position made a leaping, over the shoulder catch on a shallow fly ball in left field. For the game, the Panther pitchers induced six fly ball outs and four assisted putouts. On offense, hits were sprinkled up and down the Panthers lineup. James Reed had four singles and one rbi. Cole Plyler, Anderson Blevins, Cal Hucks, JC Ellis all had two hits with Ellis collecting a triple. Cole Owens had a double in the third inning. For the game, Panther hitters collected fifteen hits. The JV team is now 17-5-1.
In the second game of the night, the Panthers varsity squad completed the sweep of the Falcons by a score of 10-5 for their first ever victory against the tough Falcon varsity club. Logan Dickinson pitched a complete game, going seven innings. He spread out ten hits, struck out three and walked two. This was an exciting, tight game that the Panthers eventually put away by scoring four runs in the seventh inning. After a very quiet top of the first inning, the Falcons came to bat and promptly took the lead 1-0 when Joey Barret reached on a single and scored on a single by Cox. Matthew Lord, of the Panthers, helped mitigate the damage in the inning when he made a running catch of a screaming line drive down the right field line. The Panthers got a runner to third in the top of the second inning but could not score as the inning ended on a strikeout. The Falcons plated two more runs in the second inning on two hits and a hit batsman taking a 3-0 lead. The Panthers finally broke through in the third inning, plating one run when Matthew Lord scored from first when the Falcon left fielder misplayed a single by Thomas Castles and let the ball go all the way to the fence. The Panthers gave the run right back to the Falcons when they scored one run in the bottom of the frame on an error by the Panthers second baseman. Again, stellar defense helped mitigate the damage when Jake Brunson made a diving catch on a sinking line drive into left field. The Panthers went quietly in the fourth inning but the bottom of the frame saw the momentum swing to the Panther’s side. The Falcons loaded the bases on three straight singles. The fourth batter of the inning, Joey Barret hit a line drive right down the first base side which was speared by the Panther first baseman, Joseph Sightler, who then tagged first base for a double play. The Falcons still had runners on second and third but now with two outs and the next batter grounded out to Josh Hanna at third. The Panthers took that defensive momentum and translated it into their offense. The Panthers took the lead in the top of the fifth inning by scoring four runs. Two walks and a hits batsman loaded the bases with no outs. Danny Morales hit a single scoring the first run of the inning. Logan Dickinson then grounded out, scoring another run and leaving runners on second and third. Joseph Sightler hit a single plating another run. Joseph ended up scoring the last run of the inning on a wild pitch. The Falcons did not threaten in the bottom of the fifth. The Panthers added to their lead when they picked up another run in the sixth when Thomas Castles, after reaching first base on an error, scored on an infield single by Logan Dickinson. In the bottom of the inning, after one out, Falcon right fielder hit a triple to right center but was stranded there by a shallow fly ball to left field and an unassisted groundout to Joseph Sightler at first. In the top of the seventh, the Panthers put the game away by scoring four runs, sending nine batters to the plate. The Falcons assisted the Panthers mightily by giving up three walks, allowing one batter to reach on a dropped third strike and by making two errors. The lone hit of the inning was by Jonathan Liva who after falling behind 0-2 count, fought back and eventually lined a line drive single by the middle scoring one run. None of the Panther runs scored that inning were earned. After a shaky start to the bottom of the last inning, Logan and the defense settled down and made the necessary plays including a leaping catch of a line drive by short stop Danny Morales. Danny Morales led the team at the plate with two hits and two rbis. Logan Dickinson helped his own cause by driving in two runs as well. The Panthers are now 12-12 on the season.