Panthers struggle at the plate, fall to Northgate 6-2

Junior+second+baseman+Evan+Harrah+prepares+to+hit+the+ball.+Due+to+a+lack+of+hitting+and+struggling+against+Northgate%E2%80%99s+batting+late+in+the+game%2C+the+Panthers+lost+6-2.+Starr%E2%80%99s+Mill+is+now+1-3+in+region+play.

Annika Pepper

Junior second baseman Evan Harrah prepares to hit the ball. Due to a lack of hitting and struggling against Northgate’s batting late in the game, the Panthers lost 6-2. Starr’s Mill is now 1-3 in region play.

Joslyn Weber, Editor

Although the Starr’s Mill Panthers used a variety of pitchers to try and combat against Northgate’s bats, the Panthers were unable to hit, ultimately resulting in a 6-2 loss against the Vikings to begin the three-game series.

“A lot of it is confidence, thinking they can do it,” varsity baseball head coach Brent Moseley said. “Spending time in the cage, spending time in the bullpen, just trying to get better.”

Sophomore pitcher Heath Whitlock delivers a pitch. “We started off slow,” Whitlock said. “We’re going to have to start day by day to just get better.” (Annika Pepper)

Leading hitters for the Panthers included sophomore pitcher Bo Walker with three singles, senior pitcher Ben Moseley with two singles, and sophomore center fielder Heath Whitlock with a double. Junior second baseman Evan Harrah scored both runs for the Panthers.

Whitlock took the mound to begin the game for the Panthers, but was pulled in the top of the third inning. Starr’s Mill would use a total of six pitchers in the contest, ending with senior Parker Childress who threw a scoreless seventh inning.

“The biggest thing with them I think is still confidence and being able to know they can throw the ball over the plate,” Moseley said.

Harrah scored both runs for the Panthers in the first and third innings. 

After making it to first base with a walk, catcher Ariston Veasey hit Harrah in to score the Panthers’ first run in the bottom of the first. Northgate quickly answered back with a run in the second inning, tying the game up 1-1. 

With another walk in the third inning, Harrah was able to score the Panthers’ second run after a hit by senior first baseman Alex Ukleja. The third inning ended 2-1.

[The pitchers] try to do more than they need to do and that hurts them, that makes them start walking guys.”

— head coach Brent Moseley

[It’s all about] mindset, just go there to compete,” Whitlock said. “Don’t fall under pressure, just keep on going and competing.”

It was a slow game with no runs until the top of the sixth inning. Sophomore pitcher Max Prozny took the place of Moseley. With multiple hits by Northgate and two walks, the Vikings had the bases loaded and two more runs under their belt, increasing the lead to 3-2. 

Sophomore shortstop Austin Sellers replaced Prozny for pitching duties but it was not enough to combat against the Northgate hitting. The Vikings scored three more runs to close out the sixth inning up 6-2.

“Our biggest nemesis right now is walking batters,” Moseley said. “[The pitchers] try to do more than they need to do and that hurts them, that makes them start walking guys.”

The game ended 6-2, with Northgate winning the first game of the three-game series. Starr’s Mill hosts Northgate again on March 18 at 7 p.m.