Panthers stop Shadyside

RAYLAND – Buckeye Local didn’t waste any time in taking control of Thursday’s baseball tilt against Shadyside.

The Panthers sent nine batters to the plate in the first inning and scored six runs en route to a 14-4, five-inning triumph against the Tigers at sunny and warm Bill Mazeroski Field.

The Panthers (12-10) have been hitting the ball well as of late, and the trend continued Thursday, especially in the first and third innings.

”Oh, we can hit the ball,” Buckeye Local head coach Rick DeLuca said.

Chase Hopkins came up a homer short of the cycle from his leadoff spot for the Panthers and knocked in a pair of runs.

Buckeye Local did garner a homer, though, courtesy of Eric Banal, who crushed a grand slam to left center in the third. He also singled.

Hopkins walked to start the game. Three more free passes followed as the Panthers built a 3-0 advantage.

Buckeye Local’s first hit – a single by Josh Figurski – scored Brandon Panepucci making the score 4-0. Then, batting for the second time in the frame, Hopkins doubled to drive in Derek Sebring and Eric Williams with the fifth and sixth runs of the game.

Colin Hunter started the game on the hill for the Tigers (6-9) before being relieved by Will Brown midway through the first. Shadyside head coach Mike Meintel said with sectional starting Saturday he wanted to give some of his younger arms some work.

”Those were all freshmen that threw,” he explained. ”We thought, hopefully, they were going to keep us in the game a little bit. It got away from us, but they grew up a little. Will threw a good game.

”This was our fourth game this week.”

The Tigers climbed back to within 6-1 in the third on an RBI single by Zach Frizzi that scored Billy Johnson.

Buckeye Local responded with six more runs in the bottom of the frame to grab a 12-1 lead, highlighted by Banal’s mammoth roundtripper. Josh Figurski and Dalyn Grubb also slapped RBI singles during the frame.

Jake Lennox and Dalton Palmer led off the Tigers’ fifth with singles. Two batters later, Colton Campbell doubled driving in Lennox trimming the lead to 12-2. Josh McFarland’s single plated Palmer. Then, Sean Hanson grounded out bringing in Campbell making the count 12-4.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Panthers scored two runs to end it thanks to a pair of Shadyside errors and leadoff single by Banal.