Panthers Comeback Comes Up Short Against Miracle

06/02/2023 12:03 PM -

For the second straight game, things got off to a poor start for the Indiana Panthers. In the first time through the order, the Panthers struckout seven times as Miracle starter Dilan Pinero was dealing. 

As for the Panthers starter, we saw our first look at Joelmis Mendez, a 5’10 218 pound righty out of Calumet College of St. Joseph. Mendez struggled with his command as he allowed several free passes in his first inning of work which led to two Miracle runs. Mendez finished his first start in over a month with a statline of 3.1 innings pitched, five runs (four earned runs), three walks and only five hits. 

Things looked bleak going into the top of the fifth as the Panthers were down 5-1 and Pinero’s swing-and-miss stuff was as effective as it could be, but the Panthers finally pieced together some good at-bats. Jonny Crowell found himself up with the bases loaded and two outs and was able to drive in two with a base-hit to add on to his red hot start to this young season. Head coach Deandre Gilmore values a veteran guy like Crowell and views him as a very reliable bat going forward.

“He’s a guy with a lot of experience. He’s a D2 player so he’s seeing all this velocity at school so it’s not hard for him to adjust.”

The Miracle brought in Russo in the seventh and the Panthers’ bats did not struggle to get to him. Panthers’ third baseman Nicholas Signorelli was up with two runners in scoring position and two outs and ripped a base hit that brought the Panthers all the way back to tie the game. Gilmore says how he was able to help the guys adjust mid game which later led to a four-run surge. 

“I told the guys they just need to put the ball in play and throw a barrel to the ball. Everything else began to work.”

Mason Dunlop came in relief and was brilliant. He went 4.1 innings and kept the Panthers in the game that led to them eventually tying it. Unfortunately, Dunlop was charged with the loss as he surrendered the tie in the bottom-half of the seventh, as a one-out Evan Laws double came around to score off a Dylan Rost single. Nonetheless, Dunlop proved he was ready for the long-inning roles and the two-way player looks to be a major factor in that Panthers’ bullpen going forward.

The Panthers will be back home to take on the Lake County Corn Dogs Friday, June 2 at 7 p.m. CT.