Blake Belcher firing from the mound. Allen Hamrick photo
Caleb Wynn comes in with fresh arm. Allen Hamrick photo
Colten Moore on in relief at Hoover. Allen Hamrick photo
Ely Osborne saves the game at second with this grab. Allen Hamrick photo

The 2017 baseball season ended for the Panthers at Lewis County last week.

While it looked as if the Panthers would go the distance after a whale of a game against Nicholas County, the Hoover Huskies and Braxton stood in the way.

However, the first game against the Grizzlies of Nicholas County will be remembered for a while. Blake Belcher took to the mound in his final season as a Panther and did a great job. He had a fast ball that just touched the corner and left the Grizzlies’ legs shaking and their eyes looking. He had a dirty curve ball that moved the batter out of the zone just in time to cross the plate for a strike.

The Panther bats were hitting pay dirt, clubbing hits all over the field. The Panthers scored nine runs by the third inning, and the bats went silent in the fourth. The fifth inning came, and they added two more to the board.  The Grizzlies managed to get runs on the board with a couple of errors and some good at bats and were able to get close, scoring nine points by the seventh inning.

They had one chance – Caleb Wynn came in as relief for Belcher and started firing shots.  They got a runner on board but a great play by Eli Osborne at second blew their chances out the window.  It was a great game and then it was Hoover’s turn. It seemed that the Panthers had good momentum going into that game, but the wheels fell off the wagon on the way down.

The bats went silent for the Panthers and the Huskies brought out the clubs early on in the game. The Huskies put five runs on the board and that was all they could get; errors will plague a game if you let them.

Caleb Wynn was on the mound and did a good job of pitching even though the score doesn’t reflect it. He settled into a grove, and the Huskies were shut down after their initial scoring run.

However, if a team doesn’t hit the ball you can’t win a game, and the Panthers couldn’t get it rolling.The Huskies defeated the Panthers 0-5. Since it is double elimination in the Sectionals, the Panthers had to play Braxton. A win here would move them on in the tournament; a loss and they’re packing for a trip home.

Well, it turned out the same way – the bats may as well have been toothpicks as the Panthers had a tough time getting the hits and the game ended with a Panther loss.

All in all, it was a good season with many great games won and lost. With that game, sports close out for the 2017 year for the Panthers. The Mustangs are also finished until fall sports.

When one looks back, there were some highs and lows as there are for most schools. From football to baseball, the athletes gave a hundred percent and that is all the fans of this county expect.

Get set for the 2017-2018 season of sports, it looks be another banner year.