Panthers Cage Lions in Varsity Tilt; Get Caged in JV Game

Panthers (JV)  4                                Augusta Christian  7

A heavy thunder storm cleared out of Augusta, Georgia early Saturday morning leaving a soggy field but a beautiful day for baseball.  The JV Panther squad arrived ready to play some baseball and took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.  Cole Owens singled and scored on a throwing error that allowed Anderson Blevins to reach base safely.  So everyone arrived safely, in a good mood ready to play baseball and they even got off to a good start and then just like in life, something happens that takes your eyes off their goal.  They allowed themselves to get distracted by close calls on the base paths and on balls and strikes at the plate.  Their focus was not on the game anymore where it should have been, but was squarely on the umpires.  And just like in real life, when you take your eyes off of your goal things begin to unravel.  The Lions from Augusta Christian scored three runs in the second inning on three singles, an error, a walk and a hit batsman.  The Lions added two more in the 5th inning on two walks and two hits.  The Panthers tried to begin clawing out of the hole they had dug when they plated one run in the top of the 6th.  Cole and Anderson once again teamed up to get things going.  With one out, Cole singled and Anderson followed with another single sending Cole to third base.  Cole scored when JC Ellis reached on an infield single.  Anderson and JC were left stranded on base but it felt like momentum was beginning to turn our way.  However, the Lions would have none of it and scored two more runs in the bottom of the 6th inning.  The Panthers furiously tried to rally in the 7th.  Danny Waller reached on a walk and John Edens doubled putting Panthers on second and third.  Cole Plyler reached via an error driving in one run.  Hughes Butler then got an infield single driving in his first run of the year making the score 4-7 with runners on second and third.  Cole Owens popped up for the first out bringing Anderson to the plate.  He hit a line drive up the middle that the shortstop made a good catch on and stepped on second to double up Hughes Butler who had wandered too far away from second base.  For the game, Cole Owens and Anderson Blevins had two singles and five other Panthers contributed hits with John Eden’s hit being a double.  The Junior Panther squad is now 12-8-1 for the year with two games remaining.


Panthers  4                         Augusta Christian  1

In a well-played game on both sides, the Panthers prevailed 4-1 on a beautiful day for baseball in Augusta, Georgia.  The Panthers entered the game on a three game losing streak and really needed a win to help rebuild confidence and build momentum towards a strong finish as the 2013 baseball season draws to a close.  This game was a pitcher’s duel with Trevor Dacus pitching for the Panthers and K. Cartledge pitching for the Lions.  After a scoreless first, the Panthers plated two runs in the top of the second.  Sean West led off the inning with a double.  With one out, Trevor Dacus hit a soft line drive over the second baseman’s head for a single sending Sean to third.  Courtesy runner David Mast (running for Trevor) then stole second base.  Both Sean and David scored on an error by the Lion’s shortstop.  Trevor continued mowing the Lion batters down; getting the Lions sat down in order in each of the first three innings.  In the top of the 3rd inning, the Panthers added one run on what many consider the hardest and most exciting play in baseball.  Alex Blevins reached via a single, eventually getting to third on Sean West’s second hit of the game with Sean taking second on the throw to third.  The starting pitcher for the Lion’s was a south paw (a lefty) and chose to pitch from the windup with Alex at third.  On the second pitch to Jacob Cain, Alex broke for home as soon as the pitcher started his motion.  The pitcher’s slow windup allowed Alex just enough to time to slide across home just before the catcher could catch the pitch and dive forward to tag Alex.  This was the first steal of home in Panthers history.  Trevor continued to cruise on the mound through the sixth inning caging the Lions in every inning.  The Panthers entered the 7th inning with a slim 3-1 lead.  In the top of the 7th, the Panthers added one to their lead.  Matthew Lord beat out an infield single on a bang, bang play.  Caleb Wilson advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt.  After a second out, Alex Blevins doubled to right center field scoring Matthew from second.  In the bottom of the 7th, this pride of Lions attempted a comeback.  Trevor managed to get two quick outs before faltering.  The third batter of the inning for the Lions reached via a single.  Trevor hit the next batter and the third Lion batter reached via the second hit of the inning loading the bases.  Trevor walked the next batter forcing in one run.  The Panthers changed pitchers at this point and brought in Alex Blevins.  After falling behind the batter three balls and one strike, Alex managed to retire the last Lion on a fly out to center field.  Alex Blevins and Sean West led the Panthers at the plate with two hits each; both getting a single and a double.  Josh Hanna also doubled for the Panthers.  As stated earlier, Trevor Dacus started the game on the mound for the Panthers and provided just the tonic the Panthers needed.  By pitching so well and going so deep into the game, he allowed the Panther coaches to rest the other pitchers.  This is very important as the Panthers as the team has three games in as many days next week. For the game, Trevor pitched a very solid game going 6 2/3 innings.  He allowed one earned run while striking out three and walking two.  He also hit three batters and allowed five hits.  The victory insured the Panthers their second consecutive non-losing season and gave them a great chance to finish with a winning record for the first time.  The Panthers are now 10-7 on the season.  They return to action Monday night in a tilt against Robert E Lee Academy as they try to avenge an early season loss.