Panthers win 12-5 on Opening Day

05/23/2022 9:00 PM -

Behind an eight run third inning, the Crestwood Panthers began their 2022 season on the right foot with a 12-5 seven-inning win.  

After a leadoff home run by Max Bullock, starting pitcher Erik Carlson settled in and retired the next six batters in a row, completing his two innings of work. In the third, the Giants extended the lead to 3-0 thanks to back-to-back RBI hits by Josh Williams and Gabe Cortez.  

After going hitless over the first three innings, Crestwood’s bats came alive as the first 11 men to bat all reached base. After RBI hits by Peter Fusek and Sergio Oliveres, Connor Janik’s two RBI double gave the Panthers a 4-3 lead. Matt Maloney and Maurey Garrett would follow that up with RBI singles of their own to make it 6-3.

Jimmy Gurgone walked to make it 7-3, and Peter Fusek grounded into a fielder’s choice making it 8-3. Crestwood would send 13 men to the plate during the inning, scoring eight runs on six hits and four walks.  

Patience at the plate was a large part of the Panthers’ gameplan as the team drew a combined 13 walks. Three Panthers walked multiple times in this one including Gurgone walking four times, and Joshua Aguiniga and Sean Conroy walking three times each. 

The Giants cut the lead slightly with a two RBI double by Jalen Green making it 8-5, but Crestwood would score four unanswered to finish the ballgame. An RBI groundout by Oliveres and a sacrifice fly by Nico Pena made it 10-5 in the fifth. In the sixth, an Oliveres RBI single made it 12-5.  

Oliveres carried the torch for the Panthers on offense going two for five with four RBIs. Connor Janik also had a solid night going two for four with four RBIs.  

On the mound, Justin Schassburger got the win after pitching two innings of relief giving up four runs on four base hits. The save went to Jake Cook who pitched three scoreless innings giving up only two hits.  The Panthers next game will be on Tuesday against the NWI Oilmen at Dowling Park in Hammond, Indiana.