It may be early in the high school baseball season but it would be hard to imagine a better all-around performance than Panther Creek put on Tuesday.
The Catamounts piled up a dozen runs in one inning alone while also displaying strong starting pitching and defense throughout in a 14-0 blanking of Athens Drive in a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference game.
Panther Creek (3-0. 1-0 SWAC) erupted for 12 runs in the third inning as Corey Wall, Ben LaSpaluto and Andrew Zuber each cracked two-run doubles.
Wall said a patient approach paid dividends for him at the plate.
“I took the first pitch and was able to get a good look at it,” Wall said. “So even though the second pitch was a pretty good fastball I was still able to hit it.”
Athens Drive (1-1, 0-1) wasn’t as successful, as Jake Wilson tossed five scoreless innings to pick up the win. The senior wasn’t perfect, but recorded a pair of strikeouts to close out the first inning and another “K” and groundout in the second when he ran into trouble with a pair of baserunners in each frame.
Wilson credits a physical conditioning program he’s undergoing for giving him strength and stamina.
“I stayed focused and didn’t worry about anything,” Wilson added.
Panther Creek coach Dan Hall was impressed with the moxie his pitcher exhibited in the start, shaking off a constant drizzle and the one long frame to pitch well.
“This was Jake’s first start of the year and it was good to get him some work,” Hall said, explaining why he left his starter in despite a huge lead. “He’s got to be able to adjust to sometimes difficult or different situations, we need him to do that.”
Jaguars coach Ryan Westbrook appreciated how his team maintained its effort and positive approach despite the lopsided loss.
“We played hard and had a good approach at the plate,” Westbrook said. “Credit Panther Creek though, they hit the ball hard the entire game.”