In their season opener, the Morrisville Panthers edged out the Ash Grove Pirates, 10-9.
With a 7-all tie after the seventh, the Panthers scored three runs in the top of the eighth, to lead the Pirates 10-7.
The Pirates were not going down without a fight. Paul Chavez scored on Garrett Payne’s sacrifice hit, 10-8. Brett Rose hit a single RBI to right field, scoring Jackson Bagley, 10-9. Taylor Whitworth hit a double, but the Panthers shut down the Pirates’ chances of tying the game, fielding the final hit for a third out and the win, 10-9.
The Panthers and the Pirates took turns putting runs on the board in the first five innings, and the Panthers held a 4-3 lead going into the sixth. Nick Beaver hit a 2-RBI double, scoring Dominic Canovi and Gavin Lewis, 6-3.
Three hitters later with bases loaded, the Pirates brought Garrett Payne to the mound to turn the Panthers’ momentum. Payne did the job, striking out the next two batter. Payne would pitch
The Pirates answered in the bottom of the sixth. With bases loaded, Paul Chavez hit a 2-RBI double, scoring Paul Brugh and Braden Trammell. Trailing 6-5, the Pirates’ Jackson Bagley tied the game with an RBI double, scoring Chavez, 6-all. Garrett Payne scored Bagley with a sacrifice hit, and the Pirates led 7-6 going into the seventh.
The Panthers’ Gavin Loomis hit an RBI double, scoring Dominic Canovi on a three-base run. The 7-all tie would hold, thanks to three strikeouts by Payne.
The Pirates were scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game into an eighth inning.
Justin Crumpley, the Panthers’ head coach, was impressed with their composure.
“They just never lost hope, honestly,” said Crumpley. “We were able to stay in it, keep our intensity and our focus up. It could’ve been really easy for us to let down when we let them score in the bottom of the sixth. But we were able to stay focused and keep at them, keep trying. It was a good ball game.”
In the top of the 8th, Brett Lewis and Karl Walker both hit singles for the Panthers. With two runners on base and two strikeouts on the board, Canovi hit a stunner 3-RBI home run for the Panthers, giving the Panthers a 10-7 lead before being fielded out.
“He was due,” said Crumpley about Canovi, a sophomore. “He’d been taking some pretty good swings all night long, but just hadn’t quite gotten his timing down, hadn’t been able to get the barrel on a baseball. He consistently gives us good swings in play, and I thought he was due to run into one.”
The Pirates’ two runs in the bottom of the eighth were not enough to overcome errors made earlier in the game.
“Tonight, errors got us,” said Troy McMain, Ash Grove head coach. “It’s hard to put nine runs on the board and have seven errors, and still walk away. Team chemistry is coming along. Discipline on the team is coming along real well. It just didn’t show with the errors.”
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Morrisville 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 — 10
Ash Grove 0 2 1 0 0 4 0 2 — 9
Jackson Bagley – RBI double, 2 runs
Paul Brugh – 1 run
Paul Chavez – 2-RBI double, 2 runs
Mason Keith – RBI triple, 1 run
Garrett Payne – pitched 1.5 innings, 3 strikeouts, 1 run, RBI double
Brett Rose – pitched 4 innings, 5 strikeouts, single RBI
Braden Trammell – 1 run
Taylor Whitworth – pitched 2.5 innings, 4 strikeouts
Draven Ziegler – 1 run
Nick Beaver – pitched 1 inning, 1 run, 2-RBI double
Brandon Bell – 1 run
Dominic Canovi – pitched 2 innings, 3 strikeouts, RBI single, 2-RBI home run, 2 runs
Lewis – 1 run
Gavin Loomis – pitched 3 innings, 2 strikeouts, 2 runs, RBI double
Lower – pitched 2 inning, 3 strikeouts
Karl Walker – 2 runs