Panthers cruise by Cavaliers

Panthers cruise by Cavaliers

By Daniel Winningham
North Mac High School scored early and often on its way to a 15-3 road victory over Carlinville High School April 9.

The Panthers pushed across nine runs in the first, five more in the second, got a single run in the top of the third and added two more in the top of the fifth frame.

North Mac’s first three batters reached base via a walk and two singles. The clean-up hitter, senior Logan Talkington sent a long drive to left field which clanked off the top of the fence and put the visitors up 3-0. A hit batter with the bases full provided the fourth run, though the batter was unaware of being struck until the home plate umpire pointed to first base.

A single to right with the bases loaded drove in the fifth and sixth runs for the Panthers, and another run came across to score after the relay throw home took a bad bounce and went to the backstop.

CHS got a leadoff walk from Marcus Herschelman and a single from Ben Rogers but was unable to put any runs on the board in the bottom of the first.

North Mac added five runs in the top of the second. The first batter doubled, then came a bases on balls followed by a three-run homer by junior Connor McElfresh to left field to put the Panthers up 10-0.

CHS got a two-out run in the second to make it 12-1.

Left-handed hitter Joeb Easterday lofted a one-out single just inside the foul line in left and later came around to score on a two-out single from Jake Carter. The grounder by Carter was deflected past second base by the Panthers’ shortstop and CHS coach Logan Ridenhour aggressively sent Easterday home for the Cavaliers’ first run of the game.

North Mac’s single run in the third made it 13-1.

In the home half of the third inning, Carlinville put together a rally to get within 10 runs at 13-3. Rogers reached base on a walk and Ross Albert hit a single. After Eric Pingolt struck out, Bryce DeSpain provided a two-out, two-run single for what ended up being the final runs of the game for CHS.

Carlinville’s Jeffrey Hart lasted one-plus inning and allowed 11 runs on six hits. Devon Stoops replaced Hart and allowed four earned runs on seven hits. Hart faced 15 batters, walking four and striking out one. Stoops, who faced 18 batters, struck out four and walked none.

Carlinville dropped to 3-8 overall with the loss. CHS fell to 2-4 at home this season. North Mac is 10-0 so far. The Panthers have out-scored their opponents by nearly 100 runs in 2013, as they have tallied 123 runs and allowed 25 runs. Six of the team’s 10 wins have come by the 10-run rule, including a 24-0 win over Illini Central in Peoria.