Early runs help Pan­thers pounce In­di­ans

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By KEVIN PHILLIPS

Spe­cial to the Whig

Per­ryville opted to uti­lize a pa­tient ap­proach at the plate and take what was given to them by North East pitch­ing Mon­day af­ter­noon.

That strat­egy en­abled the Pan­thers to score three runs in each of the first two in­nings to take con­trol of the game en route to an 8-3 vic­tory over the host In­di­ans in Susque­hanna Divi­sion base­ball ac­tion.

“We were try­ing to put the bat on the ball, try­ing to get base hits, and not try­ing to hit home runs. We were try­ing to be smart, get­ting base hits with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion,” Per­ryville’s Kody Brown said. “Get­ting runs early in the game means every­thing. You jump on them. They get down and

NORTH EAST—

[you] keep cap­i­tal­iz­ing.”

In the top of the first in­ning, the Pan­thers (4-6 over­all, 4-4 divi­sion) loaded the bases with one out be­fore Chris Wenck stepped to the plate and sin­gled to right, driv­ing in a pair be­fore ad­vanc­ing to sec­ond on the throw home. As North East at­tempted to throw out Wenck at sec­ond, Jared Brust­man scored to give Per­ryville a 3-0 ad­van­tage.

One in­ning later, Per­ryville added three more runs, all of which came with two outs. Brown scored on an RBI sin­gle by Si­las Stevens to be­gin the scor­ing, while Stevens scored af­ter Mike New­some dou­ble to left.

Jake El­dreth then drove in New­some with a sin­gle. Pan­thers coach Ja­son Gun­ning noted that the three-run sec­ond in­ning changed the tenor of the game more so than the open­ing frame.

“[Scor­ing in the first in­ning] meant every­thing, but I think the sec­ond in­ning was even more im­por­tant when we put three more up be­cause when you do that early on in the game, it puts the pres­sure on the home team to per- form. It puts pres­sure on the of­fense to put bad swings out there,” Gun­ning said. “I’ve seen that team hit bet­ter in the last game we beat them when they were hit­ting it right at peo­ple. The first two in­nings were huge.”

The In­di­ans (6-6, 3-5) earned two runs back in the bot­tom of the third when Chase Hol­lis­ter scored on a twoout er­ror and Pay­ton Hoskins fol­lowed by scor­ing on an Eric Steele sin­gle.

The scored re­mained 6-2 un­til the bot­tom of the sixth in­ning when North East loaded the bases with no outs,. How­ever, af­ter Colt Price recorded a sac­ri­fice fly to cen­ter, Brust­man es­caped the jam thanks to strong de­fen­sive plays from both Stevens and Wenck.

“I just knew I had my de­fense be­hind me. I tried to throw strikes,” Brust­man said. “My de­fense played for me. Si­las made a nice catch for me to keep the guy at sec­ond. It was just the team that got me out.”

Per­ryville scored a pair of in­surance runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY KEVIN PHILLIPS

Per­ryville ju­nior in­fielder Zach Strong fields a ball dur­ing his team’s 8-3 vic­tory over host North East in Susque­hanna Divi­sion base­ball ac­tion on Mon­day.

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