07/11/2022 10:30 PM -
The Panthers had their first tie on the season on Monday evening at Dowling Park against the Southland Vikings.
In stark contrast to the 2-0 pitcher’s duel between the two sides last week, the Panthers and respective offenses traded punches all day long. However, the game still ended in a 14- 14 stalemate.
The offensive outburst was the most runs the Panthers have scored this season. Head coach D’Vante Glenn loved the offensive output, especially after struggling to score runs in the two games last week.
“We know that we can hit.” Glenn said, “We just need to stay locked in and confident. A game like today helped our confidence.”
The Panthers offense exploded out of the gate with five runs in the first inning. Each of the first seven Panthers of the inning reached base setting up multiple RBI opportunities in the frame.
Peter Fusek walked with the bases loaded scoring the first run, and Hobbs Dunne was hit by the next pitch with the bases still loaded scoring the second run. Adrian Swiech came up and laced a two-run single into right field to make it 4-0. Jimmy Gurgone added another bases-loaded walk to cap off the frame with a 5-0 Panther lead.
After the Vikings scored three times in the bottom half of the first, the Panthers got a lucky bounce. With the bases loaded Joshua Aguiniga grounded to the Viking shortstop Blaze Cano, who threw the ball away clearing the bases. The Panthers led 8-3.
The Vikings went on to score eight unanswered runs to take an 11-8 lead heading into the eighth inning. The Panthers scratched back two more in the fifth inning after a Fusek RBI single and a Dunne RBI groundout. Still the Vikings would respond with three more in the bottom of the fifth to make it 14-10.
After the Vikings made it 14-10, Jacob Cook came in and shut down the Viking offense pitching five scoreless innings giving up only two hits. Glenn loved the performance he got out of Cook.
“[Cook] came out and got in a groove really quick.” Glenn said, “That’s what allowed us to stay in this game.”
The Panthers would claw back again as Dunne’s second RBI groundout of the game in the seventh made it 14-11. In the eighth the Panthers staged a two-out rally.
Malik Staples came up and motored around the bases on a ball in the right-center field gap for an inside-the-park home run. Gurgone and Connor Janik both reached base setting up Aydin Wright and Fusek once again.
Wright doubled to score Gurgone to make it 14-13. Then Fusek legged out an infield single for his third RBI of the contest to tie the ballgame. Glenn loved the resliance of his team.
“That’s Crestwood Panthers baseball.” Glenn said.
Both teams remained deadlocked through the ninth and into the tenth innings before the game was called due to darkness. It was the first tie of the season.
The Panthers are off the next two days, but eight members will participate in the Northern League All-Star Game at Oil City Stadium in Whiting, Indiana on Tuesday at 7:10 PM. Tickets can be found at nwioilmen.com.
The Panthers next official game comes on Thursday at Marian Catholic High School against the Joliet Generals. The Panthers currently are 2.5 games back of Joliet for the final Northern League playoff place.
For the full boxscore, visit the Northern League Pointstreak page: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=577437