McConnell hits first career home run in Morrisville senior night win

The Morrisville Panthers defeated the Humansville Tigers, 13-2, on Tuesday. It was Senior Night for the Panthers and their seniors did much of the damage.

Senior Nick Beavers pitched four strong innings, allowing two runs while striking out five. Beavers also did damage at the plate, going 2-2 with five RBIs. Senior Jacob McConnell hit his first career home run and also hit the walk-off RBI to win the game.

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Morrisville got on the board first when they plated two runs on Beavers’ one-out RBI to center field. Humansville scored their first run in the second inning when they loaded the bases with two outs but could only manage one run. They would leave the bases loaded.

Humansville tied the game in the third inning when junior Hunter Swearingin hit a two-out triple over the right fielder’s head. Swearingin came around to score on senior Koby White’s two-out double. Beavers, though, would halt the bleeding and strike out the next batter.

Swearingin was pitching well for Humansville, as he only gave up four earned runs through his first five innings of work. It wasn’t until the sixth inning when a fatigued Swearingin allowed the first four hitters to reach base. He lost his control, walking one and hitting two, loading the bases.

“Our pitcher wore out; they were hitting the ball really well, missing the seam and sending it right back up the middle,” said Humansville coach Ben Phillips. “Not a whole lot you can do with that. We swung at some bad pitches, but we loaded the bases a couple times, just failed to do anything with it. It seemed like every time we got a runner on, there were two outs already. We’ve been getting those big hits all year and then all of a sudden, we just couldn’t do it tonight. It’s a tough one, a tough one to take.”

Beavers was relieved in the fifth inning by sophomore lefty Dominic Canovi. Canovi struck out one and allowed two hits in his two innings of work.

“Nick Beavers started the game and Dominic Canovi came in and finished it,” said Morrisville coach Justin Crumpley. “Beavers came in throwing strikes; he set the tone really early and pitched well for us. He came up in some big situations, able to deliver in clutch situation and handled it well. That’s what we expect from him, what we expect going forward. He’s a senior leader all the way.”

The big blast of the game came in the fourth inning when McConnell called his shot before stepping to the plate. A line drive to left field cleared the fence and an elated McConnell rounded the bases for his first career homerun.

“I just swung my hardest at my pitch,” said McConnell. “It makes me happy that we won and getting the game winner on senior night is pretty big.”

“That was big,” said Crumpley. “He’s another senior and he can run into the baseball when he wants to. He can take some good swings, and he got his pitch, was able to hit the good part of the bat.”

Beavers, who was in command on the mound and at the plate, had a Senior Night to remember, with five RBIs and pitching for the win.

“My fastball was my best pitch tonight,” said Beavers. “My curveball broke a little bit but not that good, I thought. It wasn’t the best game I threw but we got the win. Good to get a win on Senior Night.”

Crumpley was pleased with his Panthers’ performance.

“The game didn’t start out one-sided, it started out a real competitive game,” said Crumpley. “We were able to come out and score first, which is big. It kinda went silent for a little bit and they fought back and answered, scratched a couple across and ended up tying the ballgame. We responded well, we minimized the damage, got out of a big bases loaded inning and was able to come back and answer offensively. We put some good at-bats together, made some good base running decisions and tacked a few on. We eventually got to their pitcher and were able to put him away. We took some good at bats against him. He pitched really well but I think we just kind of wore him down and we were able to get to the bullpen and pull away. We had a good night.”

Humansville  2      Morrisville 13
Humansville    011 000 — 2
Morrisville    202 207 — 13