CARLISLE — It was the opening night of action in Class 3A Sub-State 5 and the No. 5 seeded Knoxville Panthers traveled up Highway 5 to Carlisle to face off with the fourth-seeded Wildcats Friday night.
It was looking good for the Panthers at the start as they put a run on the board in each of the first two innings to take a quick 2-0 lead. Panther pitcher, Beau Leisure, sailed through the first inning, but in the second things came unraveled for him as the Wildcats put a four on the board without a hit. Three walks, two hit batsman, two wild pitches and a passed ball contributed to the downfall.
The Cats put four more on the board in the third which would be all they would need in an 8-2 victory. This time they used the bats as they rapped five hits to go with a Panther error in the four run outburst.
Knoxville opened the top of the first with Mike Hudson sneaking a ball through the middle of the infield for a base hit and he moved to second on a balk. Trenten Kingery lashed a drive into the right-center gap to score Hudson with the first run of the game.
After Leisure put the Cats down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, Evan Eck led off the second for the Panthers. Eck sent a laser out of the yard that dented the scoreboard in the left-center gap. That would be all of the scoring for Knoxville as Carlisle hurler, Chris Holland, allowed only two hits the rest of the way.
Eck led the Panthers with a home run and a double, Hudson singled twice and Kingery added a single to account for all of the Panther hits.
“We wanted to take the lead early,” Knoxville Coach Turner DeVore said. “We did that and we really felt that Beau could keep us in it. But it didn’t go well for him. The bottom line was that we just didn’t do enough with the bats. When we hit the ball hard, they made the plays. That’s baseball.”
The Panthers sack the bats for the final time with an 18-19 record while the Wildcats move on the play top the top seeded Solon Spartans.
Knoxville 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 1
Carlisle 0 4 4 0 0 0 X 8 5 1
Knoxville Battery – Beau Leisure (LP) 3.1 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 5 BB 4 K, 2 HB, Luke Spaur 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K and Hayden Hatch
Knoxville hitting – Mike Hudson 2-for-3, Trenten Kingery 1-for-3, Evan Eck, 2-for-3
Knoxville runs – Hudson 1, Eck 1
Knoxville RBI – Kingery 1, Eck 1
2B – Eck 1
HR – Eck 1