06/29/2023 1:09 AM
Highland, IN- The Panthers had a monster night offensively in the biggest game of the year. The Panthers were all over Miracle pitcher Ethan Lengfelder and gave starting pitcher Bubba Davenport more than enough run support to earn them a win that tied them for fourth place in the Northern League.
Aaron Barrera got not only his monster day started, but the Panthers offense started with a two-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the second. Kevin Bushnell stayed hot and hit an RBI double in the third inning to make it 3-0.
George Bilecki was a huge contributor in the win as well as he doubled to bring in Josh Outlaw. Brennan Fisher brought the lead up to five in that same inning with a SAC-fly. Aaron Barrera finished the fifth off with a single that brought in Bushnell. The Panthers were up big with the score being 6-0.
Switching to the pitching, Bubba Davenport picked up right where he left off after his gem against the Generals a couple nights ago.
“I have been commanding my fastball. I am throwing first pitch strikes and going from there.”
Davenport once again kept his walk total at zero in his seven innings of work. Davenport had six strikeouts. Davenport impressively said that this start was better than his last one.
“A lot more first pitch strikes this start compared to last start. I commanded all of my pitches unlike last start.”
Davenport is continuing to look for ways to get better despite being superb in his last two starts where he has combined for 13 innings pitched, nine strikeouts, and only one walk.
The Miracle finally got to Davenport in the sixth as they brought two across on a double and scored a third run via an error which was one of the four errors the Panthers made on the night.
The Miracle got to within one the following inning as an RBI groundout and another double made it 6-5.
The Panthers saw Kyle Basile make his return to the bullpen and the southpaw was tremendous as he went two perfect innings to secure the Panthers win.
The Panthers gave Basile some cushion in the eighth in the reigning Northern League Pitcher of the Week’s last inning on the rough day. George Bilecki led off the inning with his first homer of the year. Two runners got on for Aaron Barrera and he hit his second homer of the night for the dagger.
“I was looking for something to drive. Trying to be aggressive early in the count instead of getting behind. I looked for something to drive and it turned out well.”
Barrera finished his night 3-5 with a whopping six RBIs.
In the eighth, the Miracle brought in a new pitcher and the Panthers were able to bring in one more to make it 11-5.
Basile shut it down in the ninth and the Panthers now have the same 10-15 record as the Miracle, making them tied for fourth place. The Miracle did not do themselves any favors as they have now lost five in a row and are in danger of losing their playoff spot. The Panthers look to win two in a row as well as two in a row against the Corn Dogs as they will visit Highland Thursday, June 29 at 5 PM CT to look to build on their league leading campaign.