Panthers come from behind, beat Indians in 10 innings

Isaac Hardin stands at second base after giving the Panthers the lead in the 10th. (Doug Daniels Photo)

By Doug Daniels

1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com / duquoinsports.com

April 17, 2018

  (Du Quoin, Ill.) - Isaac Hardin doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth inning and Pinckneyville pitchers didn't allow a hit after the fourth as the Panthers defeated Du Quoin 5-4 in an extra-inning barn-burner at the Ballpark at DHS.
  "It just seems like all year we've been trying to fight and claw our way out of holes," said PCHS head coach Bill Segelhorst. "That's probably a testament to how we played today. We had our backs against the walls, kind of showed our toughness today."
  The Panthers drew first blood, with Ethan Bowen walking and later scoring on a balk in the top of the first inning. Du Quoin answered in the bottom half, though, getting hits from Klayton Donoghue, Alex Zimmerman and Ashton Smith to go up 2-1.
  Back-to-back doubles in the top of the third by Austin Alspach and Bradley Kurtz knotted the score at 2-2. The Indians then went back ahead, 4-2, after Zimmerman drove in a pair with his hit in the fourth. Fast-forwarding to the top of the sixth, PCHS chipped away a run as Kyle Kreger doubled, then scored on a wild pitch.

  In the top of the seventh with Slade West on in relief of Zimmerman, Du Quoin turned a double play and was one out away from a victory, but Bowen was hit by a pitch, and Alspach smacked a double for an RBI and a tie ball game. Grant Jausel, who pitched into the eighth inning before reaching his pitch limit, tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings.
  "Looking at the scoreboard, I thought we didn't hit again," said DHS head coach Kyle Geiger. "Faced a lefty, which we've been having trouble with, but we had our chances. We had chances to put some more runs across, and they hit when they needed to. They got some big hits in that drove in runs. They just out-hit us today in certain situations."
  Bowen would not allow a hit in relief of Jausel, allowing Hardin to give the Panthers the lead in the tenth with a two-out double to bring home Kurtz, who had doubled earlier in the inning before advancing to third on a sacrifice fly by Kreger.
  "Isaac's got a nice quick, compact swing," Segelhorst said. "I think he's kind of pressing on himself a little bit, had some tough plays he didn't make. You want your seniors to step up in key situations, and he came up there and was a senior in that moment. He got the job done."

  Alspach (2-4, R, RBI, 2 2B, BB), Kurtz (2-5, R, RBI, 2 2B), Kreger (2-5, R, 2B), Hardin (1-5, RBI, 2B), Dustin Bartnicki (1-4, BB), Kyle Luke (1-4) and Hunter Clark (1-4) had hits for the Panthers. Jausel gave up four runs on five hits and two walks with ten strikeouts, had to pitch around four defensive errors, and suffered a bloody nose during the game which required medical attention.
  "He's a tough kid, he wants the ball," Segelhorst said. "He went the max pitches. If today didn't show how tough he is and how much he wants it, I don't know what's going to show it."
  Zimmerman worked the first four innings before turning it over to West, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. West surrendered three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three. Hitting for the Indians were Donoghue (1-4, R, 2B, BB), Zimmerman (2-5, R, 3 RBI), Ashton Smith (1-4, 2B, HBP) and Owen Bradley (1-4, R, 2B).
  With the win, Pinckneyville improved to 6-7 overall, 3-2 in conference play. The loss dropped Du Quoin to 9-5, 3-3.

Photos by Doug Daniels / PinckneyvilleSports.com / DuQuoinSports.com

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