Panthers 6 Calhoun Academy 5
In a well-played, fast paced game, the Panthers prevailed 6-5 Friday night against Calhoun Academy when the Panthers managed to strand the tying run at 3rd base in the bottom of the 7th inning. The game was scoreless, until the 4th inning when the Cavaliers from Calhoun Academy broke through by scoring two runs in the bottom of the frame. The inning started innocently enough with a ground out to Clay Dickinson at 3rd. The next two batters singled with the first run scoring on the 2nd single with a stolen base thrown in. The second run scored on a Panther throwing error. The Panthers responded immediately by scoring three runs in the top of the 5th. Just as many recent Panther rallies have begun recently, this rally started at the bottom of the order. Trevor Dacus singled but was out at second on a fielder’s choice by James Reed. The Cavalier first baseman then made an error allowing Clay Dickinson to reach first base and James Reed to score. Josh Hanna then doubled putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. A groundout from Jake Brunson produced the second run of the inning when Clay scored on the play. Alex Blevins then singled scoring Josh Hanna on the play. The Panthers held the Cavaliers scoreless in the 5th and added to their lead in the top of the 6th inning. Sean West reached on an error and Jacob Cain singled sending Sean to 2nd. After a strikeout, James Reed fought off a nasty curve ball and sent a looping line drive down the first base line for a double scoring Sean from 2nd. A two base error by the Cavalier first baseman allowed both Jacob and James Reed to score. Calhoun County scored a single run in the bottom of the 6th sending the game into the 7th inning with the Panthers holding a 6-3 lead. The Panthers went 1-2-3 in the top of the frame giving the Cavaliers one last chance to win or tie the game. Again the inning started well for the Panthers with the first batter striking out. After a walk, the starting pitcher Trevor Dacus was lifted for reliever, Jake Brunson. He induced the first batter he faced to ground into a fielder’s choice giving the Panthers two outs and the Cavaliers a runner at first base. The next Cavalier batter hit a grounder to Clay Dickinson at 3rd who made a good throw to first where James Reed made an uncharacteristic error by allowing the ball to hit his glove and fall to the ground. This seemed to unnerve the Panthers and the next two Calhoun Academy batters received free passes and two runners scored on wild pitches. The Panthers made another pitching change and brought in Alex Blevins. He faced one batter who hit a sharp grounder to second but Jake Brunson who had struggled on the mound made a great play throwing out the runner at first thus preserving the Panthers 6-5 victory. For the game, Panther hitters banged out nine hits. They were led by Josh Hanna who had two hits including a double. Alex Blevins had two singles. Jacob Cain, Danny Morales, Clay Dickinson and Trevor all added singles and James Reed contributed with his afore mentioned double. Alex and Jacob were both robbed of additional hits by great plays by the Cavalier second baseman. As mentioned before, Trevor Dacus started the game on the mound for the Panthers and pitched very well leaving the game with a 6-3 lead. Over his 6 1/3 innings, he allowed four runs, two of which were earned. He gave up four hits, three walks and had five strikeouts. Jake Brunson pitched 1/3 of an inning and gave up one unearned run. He walked two. Alex Blevins faced the final batter of the game inducing a game inning ground out. The Panthers are now 7-4 on the season.