Diamond Panthers blank Wesson

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 21, 2005

If first impressions are long-lasting, then the defending Class4A state baseball champion Brookhaven Panthers will have anothersuccessful campaign.

Ole Brook and Wesson met at Moyer Field Saturday afternoonin theseason opener for both ballclubs. The Panthers scattered 3 hitsbetween 2 pitchers, and committed no errors enroute to a 10-0,6-inning shutout of the Cobras.

Brookhaven won the preliminary JV game 6-1.

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Brookhaven hosts the Clinton Arrows Monday night for aJV/Varsity doubleheader, beginning at 5 p.m. Wesson hosts FranklinCounty Monday, beginning at 5 p.m., with a JV game.

Brookhaven 10, Wesson 0

The Panthers (1-0) sported a revamped line-up, with only 2starters returning in seniors Grant McDonnieal and Darius Perkins.The duo combined for 5 hits on the afternoon, including 2doubles.

“We hit the ball well today,” said Panther head coach RandySpring.

Ole Brook opened the scoring in their half of the second, takinga 4-0 lead on 4 unearned runs. Designated hitter Garrion Crockettreached on an error. Shortstop Zach Watson walked. Two batterslater, second baseman Elliot Warren walked. Leftfielder Guy Orrreached on an error that allowed Crockett and Watson to score.

Perkins singled to score Warren. Rightfielder Giles Langstonreached on an error that allowed Orr to cross home plate.

The Panthers got 5 innings of work off the mound from juniorrighthander Brandt Hinton, and an inning of relief from freshmanPaxton King. Hinton allowed no runs on 2 hits, issuing a walk with5 strikeouts. King gave up a double, then shut down the Cobras1-2-3 with a strikeout.

“Brant and Paxton gave us some good work off the mound today,”added Spring.

Ole Brook erupted for 6 runs in the bottom of the sixth, toevoke the 10-run rule. Perkins, Langston, Hinton, McDonnieal,Watson, King and Warren scored. McDonnieal highlighted the inningwith a 2-run double that the bottom of the left center field atnearly 385-feet from homeplate.

Spring said that his squad is young, but they are gettingvaluable experience.

“We are young, but we will get better,” added Spring. “This wasa team effort on both sides of the ball today.”

Wesson (0-1) got singles from Brian Channell and Corey Puckett,and a double from Micah Davis. Brett Selman suffered the loss forthe Cobras, allowing 4 unearned runs on 3 hits; with 2 walks and ashutout. Puckett tossed the final 2 innings in relief, allowing 6runs on 5 hits.

“We have to play better defense,” said Wesson head coach HughKnight following the game. “We made too many errors. Brookhaven hasa good team.”