Oilmen Overcome Poor Start and Hold Off Late Panther Rally

07/07/2023 11:58 AM -

Whiting, IN- The Panthers could not have asked for a better start Thursday night in Whiting. The Panthers were hitting everything in sight and had a four run lead for Max Everaert who was cruising in his first couple innings. However, the Oilmen offense exploded as the game went on and were carried by the long ball like everyone has seen work for them throughout the year and against the Panthers. The Panthers fought back, but dropped the game 11-8. The Panthers are now 0-6 against the Oilmen. 

The Panthers struck immediately in the first as Josh Outlaw got his 4-5 day started with an RBI single to bring in Jaden Correa. 

The Panthers grabbed another run the following inning as Damon Brena ripped an RBI single against the team that he played on for almost all of June.

The hit parade continued in the third as Josh Outlaw scored on a passed ball right after advancing on a wild pitch that scored Correa. 

Fast forward to the bottom of the fifth and the Panthers were in a comfortable spot to beat the Oilmen. They were up 4-0 with starter Max Everaert looking strong after coming in relief July 3 against the Vikings for three innings of work and after his start getting pushed back a day because of the postponed game July 5. However, the Oilmen offense responded in the bottom half of the fifth off of Everaert. 

In that inning, Everaert allowed five runs on four hits including a Jayden Comia two-run homer to give the Oilmen a 5-4 lead. Everaert’s day was done as he was replaced with Anthony Mangano after five innings. Everaert allowed five earned runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out one. 

Mangano had no luck settling down the Oilmen offense in his appearance. He gave up three in the bottom of the sixth. It was 8-4. The Panthers picked up one in the top of the seventh after Daniel Gay scored on an error by the catcher.

With Mangano still in, Emmanuel Scott answered back with a two run homer to make it 10-5. It was the Oilmen second homer in the contest. 

Things did not get easier for the newly inserted pitcher. Drew Westland entered the eighth and struggled with his command. Westland walked three and had a wild pitch that allowed a run. He also surrendered a hit. Luckily, Westland got out of a bases loaded jam and only allowed a run. It was 11-5, but the Panthers did not quit.

The Panthers started off the inning with four straight doubles. Daniel Gay led it off, was brought in by Josh Outlaw, Josh Ballard brought Outlaw to third with a towering double off the brick wall in left, and then one more was brought in after a Gabe Cortez double. With runners on second and third, Beau Polickey picked up his third hit of the night to bring in Ballard. The tying run was to the plate with only one out in the inning. Unfortunately, that was all the Panthers were able to do as the next two batters retired in order. The Oilmen were able to avoid what would have been only their third home loss of the year.