06/29/2018 11:45 PM -
Whiting, Ind. – June 29, 2018 – The Crestwood Panthers let a late lead slip away as they lost their seventh consecutive game to the Northwest Indiana Oilmen 8-6.
The Panthers got a quality start out of Ryan Green (Savannah State/Port Royal, S.C.), but a five-run Oilmen outburst in the bottom of the eighth inning spoiled his efforts on the mound.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the second inning after a walk and three singles against Oilmen starting pitcher Brendan Kelly, as Will Thomas (Alcorn State/South Holland, Ill.) drove in Blake Soria (South Mountain CC/Homer Glen, Ill.) for the game’s first run. Jackson Shepherd (Mesa CC/Channahon, Ill.) followed that up one batter later by grounding into a fielder’s choice.
Shepherd would add to the Panther lead in the top of the fourth, smacking a double to the left-field wall to push the score to 3-0. The Oilmen would crack the scoreboard with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
The Oilmen would put up two more runs against Green in his sixth and final inning at work, exiting the game with the Panthers ahead 4-3. Of the three runs he allowed, only one was earned. He also walked two, hit four, and struck out seven as he picked up his first quality start of the season.
After scoring a run in the top of the seventh on a Thomas sacrifice fly, it looked like the Panthers would let the Oilmen back into the game. Michael Jahnke (Coe College/Lansing, Ill.) came out of the bullpen and immediately hit the first batter he faced. He would strike out Tom Kelley, but after walking Nick Figus and the dangerous Nate Montgomery coming up, Panthers manager Isaac Valdez decided he had seen enough, opting to bring in Pat Mayo (Spring Hill College/Oak Lawn, Ill.) to finish off the inning.
After an error loaded the bases, Mayo retired the next two Oilmen batters on a flyout and a groundout to preserve the 5-3 Panther lead.
The Panthers provided a little more insurance in the top of the eighth inning. With the Oilmen turning to closer Pedro Rodriguez, the Panthers countered with a move of their own, turning to Shane Peisker (John A. Logan College/Hammond, Ind.) to pinch hit. Valdez’s faith in Peisker paid off as he delivered with an RBI single scoring Maurey Garrett (Heartland CC/Flossmoor, Ill.) to give the Panthers a 6-3 lead.
However, the game’s momentum would swing right back into the Oilmen dugout. Mayo came back to the mound for his second inning of work and promptly to allow the Oilmen to score without putting the ball in play, walking three and hitting one. Mayo’s inability to find the strike zone incited Valdez to make a change, bringing in his center fielder Shepherd to get the final five outs. With the bases still loaded, Shepherd would set down the first two hitters he faced, although he would give up a run on a sacrifice fly.
Just as it looked like Shepherd would get the Panthers out of yet another pitching jam, the Oilmen, who had left nine runners on base up until that point, finally broke through as Nate Montgomery slugged a three-run home run, his league-leading fifth this season, making the score 8-6.
Pedro Rodriguez would return to the mound to finish off the Panthers, securing his first win of the season as the Oilmen closed out the victory 8-6.
The Panthers have the day off tomorrow but return to action with a doubleheader on Sunday against the DuPage County Hounds at Lemont Sports Complex starting at 1:00 p.m. You can catch all fourteen innings on the Crestwood Panthers Broadcast Network via Facebook Live, as Ryan Zimmerman will have the play-by-play call.