Leader Blues

Friday, April 10, 2009

SPORTS >> Panthers experience woeful week

By CHAD MATCHETT
Special to The Leader

Tuesday evening’s 17-1 loss to Conway brought back a few bad memories for Cabot coach Jay Fitch.

“This reminds me so much of when we lost at their place last year,” said Fitch. “It was the same thing then where everything just fell apart. Just one of those days where something goes wrong early and just snowballs from there.”

Cabot didn’t score at all until the bottom of the fifth inning when pinch-hitter Joe Bryant connected for a home run to left field to lead off the inning. Conway starter B.J. Lowe had given up just three hits – all singles – before Bryant’s homer.

Cole Nicholson, Kyle Brant and C.J. Jacoby each had hits for the Panthers.

Nicholson got the start on the mound for Cabot and lasted four innings. Chad Wisely took the mound to begin a long fifth inning that saw Conway score eight runs and take a 17-0 lead. Zach White, Jeff Brown and Jacob Luckett also each pitched in the fifth inning.

“They hit it good and we didn’t. They pitched well and we didn’t. They fielded well and we didn’t,” Fitch said. “We just absolutely did not play well today.”

The loss dropped Cabot to 11-5 overall and 3-3 in conference action.

The Panthers’ shot at redemption against Catholic on Wednesday started out well, as Cabot rushed out to a 5-0 lead after two. The Rockets responded with a pitching adjustment to slow down the Cabot bats, and took advantage of a young Panther bullpen in the latter stages for a 7-5 comeback win.

“We’ve played five out of the last six days,” said Fitch. “We’ve got three pretty good starters, but when we have to go to the bullpen, there’s nothing but pups. It’s kind of frustrating, but hopefully we can get back on track with all the make-up games out of the way now.”

Joe Bryant led off the game with a single, and stole second and third base to get into scoring position. Powell Bryant followed his twin brother with a home run hit over the left field fence.

Drew Burks reached on a single, and came in when Ben Wainwright hit a home run over the centerfield wall to give the Panthers an early 4-0 advantage.

They had two more runners on base when Catholic finally ended the turn. Cabot added one more run in the bottom of the second inning to go up 5-0 before the Rockets began to come back in the third inning.

Burks was 2 of 2 and Wainwright was 2 of 2 with a home run.

The Panthers are now 11-6 overall and 3-4 in the 7A-Central Conference.