Big fifth inning helps power the Eagles past Panthers
Special to the Whig
— For the first four-and-a-half innings Monday afternoon, Bohemia Manor and Perryville engaged in a back-and-forth battle that saw one team score, only to have the opposition respond with a run of its own.
The Eagles finally broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull away from the visiting
Panthers and earn an 11-6 victory in the 1A North Region Section I baseball semifinals. Bo Manor advances to face Patterson Mill in the section final on Wednesday.
“We never backed down. We always came back,” Bo Manor’s Bryan Bell said. “We have to find a way to get ahead. Everyone chipped in. We felt the urge to score as many runs as we can. We couldn’t lose this game.”
The Eagles (16-3) opened the scoring when they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on a Tyler Ferguson RBI single and a Joseph Garrett RBI sacrifice fly.
Dallas Johnson put Perryville on the board in the second when he scored on an errant pickoff throw, but Bo Manor took advantage of a couple of Panther miscues to score twice in the bottom half of the inning to increase its lead to 4-1.
Charles Cummings brought Perryville back to within a run, at 4-3, with a two-run single in the top of the third, but once again, the Eagles had a response. Bo Manor scored runs on a Josh Heath RBI single and a Gage Walklett fielder’s choice to make it 6-3.
After a quiet fourth inning, the Panthers battled back to within a run when they scored twice in the top of the fifth, but that was a close as they we would get as Bo Manor had one last response.
The Eagles exploded for five runs in the fifth as Bell drove in two runs with a single and Ferguson plated another with a single, while two other runs came in on errors.
“We just had good at-bats today,” Bo Manor coach Gary Johnson said. “They walked a fine line of being aggressive and being patient at the same time. I think we had 10 hits and eight walks. That means we were picking out good pitches to hit today. We didn’t swing at too many pitches outside the zone today.”
Perryville (9-10) improved defensively from last season, but seven er- rors doomed the normally solid defense and ended its season.
“We set out to be .500 or better in the regular season, and we finished .500. A lot of the games could have gone different ways where we had one- or two-run losses, and we had some extrainning losses,” Perryville coach Jason Gunning said. “They fought a lot, and they were always into the game. I just wish we could have hit a little better, and in this game, our defense was solid all year, but it just kind of blew up in our face.”