Panthers Down Hounds, Keep Chase in Playoff Race

08/05/2020 8:40 PM -

Crestwood, Ill. – August 5, 2020 – It may not have been a playoff game, but Wednesday’s matchup between the Panthers (15-11) and Hounds (19-9) certainly commanded a postseason-type atmosphere. And after initially trailing 4-0, Crestwood once again showed off its resounding offensive presence en route to a 13-4 victory. 

The action began in the bottom half of the fourth inning, as Brett Riegler (University of Chicago / Downers Grove, Ill.) recorded an RBI single, plating Cameron Bufford (Grambling State University / South Holland, Ill.). Then, Tim Fauth (North Park University / Elk Grove Village, Ill.) added an RBI groundout before D’Vante Glenn (Coe College / Chicago, Ill.) launched a two-out, RBI single to center field, thus completing the Panthers’ early comeback.  

Crestwood would tack on two more in the fifth via a pair of RBI doubles from Reggie Brock (Chicago State / Chicago, Ill.) and Andrew Tenison (Moraine Valley CC / Orland Park, Ill.) to make it 6-4. The true offensive dagger, however, came in the sixth as Lawrence Noble (Coppin State University / Chicago, Ill.) lined a three-RBI double to deep right field, allowing the Panthers to fully pull away from DuPage County.  

“You know, when you win 12 out of your last 15 games like we have, you’re going to have different guys pop up and be the hero,” manager Isaac Valdez said. “Lawrence and D’Vante really helped us out today and broke this one open. I’m looking forward to seeing who it’s going to be on Friday.” 

On the mound, Ayden Head (Kenyon College / Clarendon Hills, Ill.) lasted four innings in his start, limiting a potent Hounds lineup to only three earned runs. Then, in relief, Breven Daugherity (Chicago State / Joliet, Ill.) continued to shine, dealing four shutout innings of two-hit baseball, while, in turn, recording his fourth win of the season. Daugherity on the year so far has posted an impressive 4-0 record with a team-best 2.07 ERA. Casey Pickering (UW-Stevens Point / Naperville, Ill.) also pitched a shutout ninth inning, needing only seven pitches to retire the side.  

“I thought Casey threw a great ninth inning with an excellent curveball,” Valdez said. “Breven was lights out again for us, and as for Ayden, he settled down nicely as he moved forward, which also calmed us down as a team. If he didn’t have a quick second and third inning, this game could have gone differently.”  

With the win, the Panthers now sit just two games, in the loss column, behind the second-place position in the MCL standings. After an off-day on Thursday, Crestwood will look to inch closer to that elusive playoff spot on Friday afternoon, as they oppose the DuPage County Hounds from Lansing Old Timer’s Field. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. on the Panthers’ Broadcast Network, available via Facebook Live.