By Allen Hamrick
The 2023 baseball season ended for the Panthers at their game against Hoover last week. The boys started the week with a little momentum going into the sectionals. However, the Lewis County Minutemen, Roane Raiders and Braxton Eagles stood in their way. The first game against Lewis County would get their week going on a sour note. At the end of the game, Lewis County beat the Panthers 11-1. It was not the way they wanted to start, but they just couldn’t get a hold of the pitching of Lewis. Roane was going to be a tough one; but the Panthers jumped on the pitching of the Raiders and got the game going in their favor. By the time it ended, the Panthers beat Roane by the score of 5-1. The Panthers’ dogs were still in the hunt as they prepared to go bat to bat with the Eagles. A win here would move them up to the semi finals, a loss and the 2023 season would be over.
The Panthers came off the loss with Lewis County with vengeance on their minds as they came out swinging for the fences, scoring five runs in the first inning. The Eagles, not being out done, added one of their own. It looked like this game would be a slug fest, and it was – at least for the Panthers. At the end of the 3rd inning, the Panthers racked up another four runs making the score 9-1. At the top of the 4th, the Eagles started catching up with the Panther pitching and started scattering hits over the field, but it was too little too late. The Panthers won again 11-6. It was on to Hoover and the hope that their game wouldn’t go off the wagon. However, as fate would have it, the Panthers rolled a pair of snake eyes and just couldn’t get the bats going. In the end, it was the Huskies over the Panthers 14-1. All in all, it was a good season with many great games won and lost. With that game, baseball closes out for 2023 for the Panthers. When one looks back, there were some highs and lows as there are for most schools. The Panthers will return again; they are a young team and will make their return on the diamond next season.