Panthers rally to top Seahawks
CHOCOWINITY — Having just allowed Southside to score the tying run in the bottom of the sixth, it had appeared momentum did not favor Northside heading into the final frame. However, the Panthers were able to methodically manufacture a run in the top of the seventh and silence the Seahawks in the bottom half of the inning to pull out a 3-2 victory over their area and Four Rivers Conference rival on Tuesday.
“Hat’s off to (Southside) coach (Jeff) Carrow and Southside, they played an excellent game tonight and you hate to see any team lose this game,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “But, for us it puts us at 5-2 (in the conference) and keeps us in the hunt for the championship. We still have a lot of ball to play, we’re only half way through the season but at least the first half of our season we have put ourselves in position to contend.”
That they did, thanks to some late small-ball tactics that led to a big victory. The Panthers’ Tyler Waters led off the seventh inning and got on board as he legged out an infield hit. Waters moved to second on a Ryan Arthur sac bunt that ran up the first-base side of the infield for the first out of the inning.
Gray Burbage reached first on the next at-bat as Southside elected not to attempt to throw him out in order to keep Waters from advancing to third. Waters would get there anyway as the Seahawks mishandled a Ben Hudson grounder to third. With the bases loaded, Caleb Coltrain made sweet music for Northside as he blasted a line drive to the left side of the infield to score Waters and take a 3-2 lead.
Seahawks’ pitcher Terrill Moore would retire the next two batters but the damage was already done.
“I felt like we let one slip away,” Carrow said. “All the credit goes to Northside, they played a heck of a ball game and came up with key hits. We made two mental errors that really hurt us and may have cost us the ball game.”
Northside’s Brandon Marsh picked up the win as he tossed all seven innings and struck out five batters while walking only one. Southside’s Moore earned the loss as he also threw a complete game and fanned four while walking none.
The Panthers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when slugger Dillon Cutler ripped a two-run single to score Coltrain and Marsh.
The Seahawks (7-5, 2-5) responded in the home half of the inning when Moore smashed an RBI single to cut the deficit in half.
From there, Moore and Marsh took turns silencing the other’s lineup until the bottom of the sixth when Hayden Bogart drilled a sac fly to score Adam Graves and tie the game up at two apiece.
Though he was happy to bring a tie game into the seventh, Carrow would have liked to have seen his Seahawks come away with more than just one run after having runners on second and third with only one out.
“Any time I got guys on base I feel like I should get runs,” Carrow said. “We got a good mix of speed and some guys that can pop the ball, but the biggest thing this year is that we’re not capitalizing when guys are on base in key situations just like that.”
The Seahawks will be back in action on Thursday when they host Camden, while the Panthers will travel to take on Plymouth.
Northside 200 000 1 — 3 6 0
Southside 100 010 0 — 2 6 2
WP: Brandon Marsh; LP: Terrill Moore
Hitting: Caleb Sherman 1-4, Dillon Cutler 1-3 (2 RBI), Tyler Waters 1-3, Gray Burbage 1-3, Ben Hudson 1-3, Caleb Coltrain 1-3 (RBI); SS — Blake Jones 2-4 (R, 2B), Alex Graves 1-3, Kyle White 1-3, Terrill Moore 2-4.