Baseball Panthers stumble in second regional outing

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By Sharon Graves

The Panthers went through three pitchers on their second night of regional play at Clear Creek Park in Shelby County coming away with a season ending loss.

The Panthers met the Shelby County Rockets Tuesday, May 26 at a beautiful park in the Rockets home territory, and ended their season on a losing note 6-1.

The Panthers led off the first inning with bases loaded but couldn’t score before a delay due to lightning strikes in the area and then sent the Rockets three up, three down.

When the Panthers took the field again after the delay, the moment had passed and they were not able to put anything on the board until the sixth inning.

Jesse Proctor started the game on the mound for the Panthers and gave up two runs in the second inning but worked hard keeping the runners close to the bags.  When Proctor took third base the Panthers were down 3-0.

D.C. Craig came in as relief pitcher in the fourth inning and the Rockets were able to plate three more runs in the inning.

In the sixth inning, Craig got on board and made it to second base on a Rocket error and headed to third on a Chris Hendrick sacrifice. Craig reached home on a Kenny Welch long fly, but that would be the only Panther score of the game.

Zach Wise came in as the closer in the bottom of the seventh inning and was able to get the Rockets out three up, three down.  

The game and the season ended after the Panther half of the seventh inning with Ethan Stewart stranded on the base paths as the Panthers were unable to bring him home.

 “We knew if we made plays and put a little pressure on them things could go our way,” head coach Jay Jones said.  “It was so emotional for our kids today I’m not sure if we were able to really just settle down and think.  I know for sure we missed five signs if not 10.”

“We’ve had a great run and we tip our hat to Shelby County,” Jones continued.  “Anytime you have their coach tell you your kids played good, you’ve got to be proud of something like that.”