Panthers win region in Griffin sweep, travel to Tennessee for Spring Break tournament

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Katie Linkner

Senior Will Evans heads to first base after making contact with the ball in the third game of the series against Griffin. The Panthers defeated the Bears 10-5.

Morgan Evans, Sports Editor

Panther varsity baseball has continued to dominate the 3-AAAAA region, sweeping five consecutive opponents: Whitewater, McIntosh, Riverdale, Morrow and now Griffin, increasing their region record to 15-0. The Panthers have outscored their region opponents 155-24 in only 15 games. The Griffin series was no different for the Panthers’ hot bats, as Starr’s Mill swept the Bears in two home games and one away.

Katie Linkner
Senior Tyler Courtney prepares to swing for the fences. Due to inclement weather, game two of the series was rescheduled to April 4 with play resuming in the top of the sixth and the teams tied at 2-2.

On March 28, the Panthers faced Griffin at home with senior Jake Arnold on the mound. Arnold pitched five innings, giving up two hits, four walks and one run, as well as striking out six batters. Although Arnold pitched a gem, the Panther offense showed up with senior Will Evans hitting two home runs and seven RBIs in only three at-bats. Most of the other Panther runs came from playing small ball. As a team the Panthers hit six singles, two doubles, and three home runs, two coming from Evans and the other from junior Mitchell Sutton. The Panthers defeated the Bears 13-1 in game one.

The Panthers took a roadtrip to Morrow in between the series, and defeated the Mustangs 17-1 on March 29. The next day, the Panthers played their second game against the Bears at Griffin. Potential inclement weather caused Thursday’s game to be suspended in the top of the sixth inning with the teams tied at 2-2.

Friday night’s game was back at the Mill with Evans on the mound. Evans gave up three hits, four runs, and struck out eight batters and earned the win for the Panthers, while senior Jack Moore got the save. The Panthers defeated the Bears 10-5.

Game two play resumed at Griffin the following Tuesday with Sutton on the mound to secure the win. It took an extra inning, but the Panthers defeated the Bears 3-2 with sophomore Brian Port hitting in the game-winning run. Port went 4-4 with three singles and a triple. Sutton pitched three innings striking out three batters, walking one, and giving up no earned runs.

“We played really [well] all three games,” head coach Brent Moseley said. “We pitched well, and two of the three games we really hit the ball well. I was really pleased with how we played.”

The Panthers traveled to Farragut, Tenn. over Spring break to play a four-game tournament against some of the best teams in the country. The first Panther game was against the Christian Academy of Knoxville on April 7, which resulted in a 4-3 loss. Later that day, the Panthers played Bowling Green, and defeated the Purples 4-3.

[Farragut] is good, but they aren’t ten runs better than us.”

— head coach Brent Moseley

Saturday’s first game was rough for the Panthers against Farragut. The Admirals defeated the Panthers in a devastating 10-run game, 13-3.

“We got killed,” Moseley said. “[Farragut] is good, but they aren’t ten runs better than us.”

Despite winning their second game to the Moore Mustangs, 6-2, Starr’s Mill walked a combined 18 batters on Saturday. Pepper got the win for the Panthers with two innings pitched, one strikeout and four walks.

Starr’s Mill is looking to sweep the region as they continue their three-game series against Fayette. Starr’s Mill took the first game 2-1 in extra innings on Tuesday night. Tonight the Panthers will play at Fayette, and tomorrow again at home.

“I think we just need to get some momentum back and get our attitudes back where they need to be because they weren’t there last week,” Moseley said. “We’re just trying to get back to swinging like we were before Spring Break.”

The JV and freshmen baseball seasons came to an end before Spring Break. JV ended their season with a .500 record due to lack of consistency.

“We had a lot of talent, but there would be some innings where we lost track mentally and made some big mistakes, like throwing the ball away, just making key errors that hurt,” JV head coach Derek Abrams said. “Overall, we sometimes just had one really bad inning, where everything falls apart, and that we wouldn’t be able to come back from.”

The freshman baseball team had an overall 10-8-2 record. The team consisted mostly of eighth graders, but suffered quite a few injuries on the field.

“There’s still some maturing to do, some growing, at least from a physical standpoint,” freshmen head coach Zach Mann said. “We started out the season really strong defensively and the offense played pretty well, then we suffered a couple of really big injuries mid-season and lost a couple guys at key positions.”