Panthers Lose Back and Forth Battle to Oilmen

06/28/2023 12:24 AM -

Whiting, IN- The Panthers have had their fair share of ups and downs this season. They were coming off of a series in which they took two out of three against the Griffith Generals. They were now looking to beat the second place Oilmen for the first time this season.

Alberto Lamas took the bump for Tuesday’s matchup. He was looking for a major bounceback after a very poor start against the Miracle June 20. 

Lamas did not give up a hit in the first two innings, but he walked one and hit two Oilmen batters. 

Lamas began to get hit around a little bit in the bottom of the third. He gave up a run on two hits, but limited the damage and forced the Oilmen to leave two on base. It was 1-0 Oilmen.

The Panthers grabbed the lead the very next inning as Kevin Bushnell drove in Jaden Correa and then advanced to home after the Oilmen were fooled on a George Bilecki delayed steal. 

Lamas buckled down and battled his way through the Oilmen lineup. Lamas allowed one hit in the next three innings of work. Unfortunately, the Panthers offense was unable to extend to their lead. 

Lamas returned to the mound in the seventh inning and found himself experiencing the same control issues he had in the first couple of innings. He got the first batter of the inning, but then walked back-to-back Oilmen. Lamas has a mindset for his next start to hopefully clean up the command issues.

“I have to just say let them hit it. My team’s going to have my back. That is the mindset I have to have the whole game. My teammate is going to be there to defend me. 

All in all, it was a very productive start for Alberto Lamas. 6.1 innings pitched, four strikeouts, and gave up one run. However, three were charged to him. 

Lamas agreed that it was definitely a start he could build on.

“I thought it was a pretty good start. I just lost command a little bit early on, but I was able to get the job done.”

It was also incredibly encouraging to see him come out with this confidence and determination after getting hit around against the Miracle in his last outing. Lamas emphasized the importance of wiping bad starts from your memory and not expecting perfection. 

“It happens. You just have to brush it off and come back and think with that positive mindset. If you think with that positive mindset, positive things will happen.”

Adan Vega came in for relief and immediately surrendered the tying-run via a RBI single. He then gave up a walk of his own and then got the second out on a lineout. Vega walked a second batter, but this time with the bases loaded, and officially brought in all of the runners Lamas kept on base. The Panthers left three on base and it was 3-2 Oilmen. 

The back and forth action continued as the Panthers got the lead again the next inning. The Panthers got second and third with no one out and George Bilecki tied the game with an RBI groundout. Kevin Bushnell responded with a go-ahead RBI single to make it 4-3. Bushnell finished his night 3-4 with two RBIs. In his last five games, Kevin Bushnell is hitting .412. His season average is now .313 and has the team lead for RBIs with 10. 

Anthony Mangano came in the eighth and tried to hold the lead. Mangano also had command issues as he walked two batters in the first three he saw. The Oilmen made the Panthers pay as they tied it with their second extra base hit of the game. The Oilmen were not done as Randy Seymour stayed hot and brought in two more with a base hit.

The final score stayed 6-4 as Jack West had a one, two, three save. The third pitcher brought in was the pitcher of record for both teams. Mangano got the loss and Buckholtz got the win. 

The Panthers fall to 0-4 against the Oilmen this season and will look for revenge against the Elkhart County Miracle as they host them again Wednesday, June 28 at 7:00 PM CT.