06/24/2023 1:39 AM
Griffith, IN- Five of the eight Panthers wins have come against the Griffith Generals. No matter how you view that stat, it was a huge win for the Panthers as it helped them remain in striking distance for that last playoff spot. The Panthers played a really solid game all around and had very strong pitching performances from Bubba Davenport and Mason Dunlop. They also had just enough timely hitting to give them the edge.
The Generals jumped to a 2-0 lead by scoring one off Davenport in the second and third. Davenport settled in and battled through six innings of work only allowing those runs. What made Davenport so effective was his ability to produce ground balls as he got 12 outs via the grounder. Davenport struck out three and walked one in the no-decision.
The Panthers struggled to get anything going off of General’s starter Josh Ortiz, but they were finally able to bring a run home in the top of the fifth. Newcomer Josh Outlaw, a freshman at Parkland College who hit .333 in 29 games started last year, ripped an RBI-double to get the Panthers on the board. Outlaw was a massive reason why the Panthers won, but he mentioned how the team impressed him in multiple kinds of ways in his first day with the squad.
“Playing with them for the first time I noticed a lot of positives especially on defense. The team made a lot of good plays across the whole field. I couldn’t tell the team had been losing some games beforehand because everyone was in a good mood and just wanted to play. I just want to keep going out and having fun with the team, trying to get more wins the rest of the summer.”
Ortiz got through six just like Davenport and the Panthers immediately got to the new arm in the seventh. A couple hits made it two runners in scoring position and the Panthers tied it on a wild pitch that brought in “Scooch” Scumaci.
Josh Lamb came up to bat with already two hits on the night in the eighth and he hit the go-ahead single to bring in Nicholas Signorelli to add on to his monster night.
“It felt great being able to make an impact for the team. Sometimes it’s hard hitting late in the lineup, but I came in there and did my job.”
The Panthers got major insurance in the ninth as eight hitters came to the plate and they brought in four more runs. Josh Outlaw continued to barrel up the ball as he hit his second double of the day to bring in one. Alijah Rainey grounded out to bring in another run. Outlaw then scored on an error by the catcher. Outlaw finished his debut going 3-5 with two RBI’s. Outlaw said after the game why he was so successful and how it felt to make an immediate impact.
“It was a lot of fun to come in and be able to get some hits and help us win. I just tried to stay in the fastball and that helped me find the barrel throughout the game.”
Josh Lamb singled for his fourth hit to bring in the Panthers seventh run. Lamb went 4-5 with two RBI’s. This game meant so much for Lamb as early on in the season he said he was struggling as bad as he ever had. So much so it was slowly decimating his confidence. Lamb went on to say how he still always believed in himself and doing that helped him have a nearly-perfect day at the plate.
“My confidence was regressing a little as my slump went on, but I always trusted in my ability to hit. I was getting frustrated and I needed to change something. So in today’s game, I looked to hit on the right side of the field. Tonight’s performance was needed.”
Mason Dunlop was also a huge factor in this game. Dunlop took over the pitching duties in the seventh. Many were surprised to see him all the way in the ninth, but he was and completed his one run three inning relief appearance. Dunlop struck out three and most importantly had only one walk.
Same time and place Saturday, June 24.