The Panthers were trying to play the spoiler role at Forrest Moore Park Friday night as they hosted the Leonard Tigers, who currently hold down the final playoff spot in District 12-2A.
Much like the Texas Ranger’s World Series history, the Van Alstyne effort fell one out short as Leonard scored four runs in the seventh inning, with two retired, to take the 6-3 win.
Once again the Panthers got off to a good start as singles by Kearon Redmon and Alex Phillips got the offense rolling in the bottom half of the first. Phillips’ hit drove in Redmon who had swiped second. With Shawn Wheeler running for Phillips, Kyle Pickett lined a double to center,which plated Wheeler to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Trey Burden shut out the Tigers through the first five innings, and Van Alstyne added another run in the fourth to bump the lead to 3-0. That was a small-ball run as Zach Davis was plunked in the side with two out in the frame. Davis promptly stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. An infield hit by Masen Himmelreich drove home Davis.
Leonard got on the board in the sixth, using a lead off walk and three straight singles to score a pair of runs to make it a 3-2 game.
After Himmelreich’s hit in the fourth, Ty McKinney was dealing from the mound for the Tigers. He retired Van Alstyne’s last 10 batters of the contest in order.
The visitors broke it open on their final trip to the plate, scoring four runs — all unearned — to take the win.
Yeh, a 17-year old high school kid boots a play that cost a ball game. Let’s put that into perspective.
On that same night in Anaheim, an outfielder with a 5-year, 125 million-dollar deal,forgets how many outs there are and runs himself into the easiest double play of the year.
To overwork the famous Ron Wash’ phrase — That’s the way baseball go.