Panthers pounce on Cougars’ pitching

Published 8:31 pm Friday, April 13, 2007

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
YEATESVILLE — Northside jumped all over Flora MacDonald Friday taking a 12-1 win over the Cougars on the opening day of the Northside Easter Tournament.
Panthers’ pitcher Holden Cox pitched all five innings of Friday’s game, letting up two hits and one run while tallying six strikeouts.
MacDonald pitcher Russell Jackson had a tough outing as he let up 11 runs in three innings of work.
The Panthers pounced on Jackson early, as they rallied for four runs in the first inning.
Northside’s leadoff hitter Bradley Slade was a force throughout the game, and got the Panthers going when he reached first on an error by the Cougars’ third baseman.
An Austin Swain sac bunt pushed Slade to second, and after a Zach Boyd flyout, Slade scored the Panthers’ first run on an Eric Daniels double that was just a few feet shy of being a home run.
Northside tacked on two more runs two batters later, when Cox smashed a double to right field that drove in Daniels and Will Allen to make it a 3-0 ball game.
Cox would score the innings’ final run when he was driven home by an Aaron McKinney double.
Holding a 4-0 lead in the top of the second, Cox took the mound and let up the only Cougars’ run of the game when MacDonald’s Trevor Huber knocked a two-out double to make it 4-1.
The Panthers struck again in the bottom of the second, and once again Slade got the offense going as the lefty pulled a Jackson fast ball over the right field fence for a mammoth solo home run.
After the Slade homer, the Cougars fell apart on the field as they made four costly errors that propelled the Panthers’ run and allowed Boyd and Daniels to cross home plate. Northside would leave the inning holding a 7-1 lead.
Northside coach Addison Bass praised Slade, who finished the day going 2-4, with a triple and a homer.
Northside kept the pedal to the mettle and rallied for four more runs in the third. Slade’s triple scored Colby Mason to take a 8-1 lead.
Swain belted a double that scored Slade, and would later score on an error to extend the lead to 10-1. Zach Boyd, who reached base on error, would score the innings final run to make it 11-1.
Taking the mound with a comfortable 10 run lead, Cox settle down and proceeded to strike out four of the final six batters.
Northside (7-4) will play in the tournament championship game today at 7 p.m. against Halifax.
Halifax 6, Southside 2
Locked in a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning, Halifax had the bases loaded with two outs when Southside summoned Jamie Blackard from the bullpen to extinguish the Vikings’ rally.
Coming into the game in a tight spot, Blackard worked quickly and got ahead in the count 1-2, and looked like he would lead the Seahawks out of a jam.
Blackard induced a ground ball to first base, that gave the Southside first baseman some trouble and allowed Halifax to score the go-ahead run and prolong the inning.
On the next at bat the Vikings’ Jeremy Wells smashed a double down the third baseline to score to more runs and take a 5-2 lead en rout to a 6-2 victory.
Wells was also the game’s winning pitcher, as he tossed all seven innings and worked his way out of a few late innings jams.
Southside’s Fitzgerald Parks got the Seahawks on the board when he scored from third on an error in the third inning.
The Seahawks added another run in the fourth when catcher Kevin Sparks singled and stole second, setting up Alarie Elks to drive in the team’s final run.
Southside (3-8) coach Red Lewis said he was proud of the way his team hit the ball, and credited the Vikings for making plays.
Southside will return to the diamond today, when it battles Flora MacDonald at 5 p.m. for third place in the tournament.
Flora MacDonald 010 00 — 1 2 8
Northside 434 1X — 12 9 0
WP: Holden Cox; LP: Russell Jackson
Hitters: C — Winstead 1-2 (2B), Trevor Huber 1-2 (2B, RBI); P — Bradley Slade 2-4 (HR, 3B, 2 RBI), Austin Swain 2-4 (2 RBI), Eric Daniels 2-3 (RBI), Holden Cox 2-3 (2 RBI), Aaron McKinney 1-3 (RBI)