- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Friday night was a beautiful one for a baseball game and the Carroll County Panthers played two, knocking off the Austin Eagles 10-8 before falling to the Madison Cubs 12-2 in the Madison Courier Invitational Tournament.
The Panthers played four games during the two-day tournament, splitting a pair each day, finally falling in the consolation round on Saturday to the same team they defeated Friday, the Austin Eagles.
The Eagles won the MCIT the two previous years, but the Panthers took advantage of Eagle errors early scoring five unearned runs in the second inning.
The score was 9-1 Panthers, when the Eagles finally shook the dust off and began chipping away at the lead beginning in the fifth inning.
With one man on base, the Eagles hit a home run off D.C. Craig but even though they loaded the bases after that, the Eagles weren’t able to send any more runners home.
Tyler Gross replaced Craig on the mound in the bottom of the sixth, but the Eagles were able to plate two more runs.
Panther Jesse Proctor used his bunting prowess several times during the night and knocked in the Panthers last RBI in the top of the sixth inning bringing the Panther lead to 10-5.
The Panthers went three up, three down in the top of the seventh inning but the Eagles weren’t done yet. With two outs and the bases loaded, Gross walked in a run. Another long fly brought two more Eagles across home plate, but that would be all the Eagles could muster, leaving the tying run on base.
“Our pitchers got behind a lot today,” head coach Jay Jones said in an interview between games. “We were able to pitch out of jams and that says something about our pitchers bearing down, but we definitely didn’t execute.”
“When we have a five run lead we have to go out there and challenge them with first pitch fast ball strikes,” Jones said.
The Panthers struck first in the second game against the Madison Cubs, when a bunt from Kevin Welch and an infield hit by Matt Allen advanced Zach Wise to third. A single by Craig knocked in Wise for an RBI, but that would be all the Panthers could score before unleashing the Cubs.
Proctor had trouble on the mound finding the strike zone early and put several on base with walks, hit a batsman, and gave up a number of hits before the Panthers got out of the inning down 9-1.
In the second inning Proctor returned the favor by getting on base on balls and was advanced by Gross and Brandon McAlister, before scoring, ending the Panther inning down 9-2.
Proctor got on track after that and the Cubs went three up three down the next inning.
“Seemed like every time we got going we hit a line drive and they would make a nice play,” Jones said. “I felt like we hit it as well as we have all year, just right at Madison or they made great plays.”
The Cubs were able to score several more times finishing the game 12-2.
In the consolation semi-final game the Panthers faced Bloomington South in a pitchers duel, and pulled it out 2-1.
In the consolation final, the Austin Eagles defeated the Panthers 7-4.