Knoxville — In a make-up double header against Newton Thursday night, the Knoxville Panther baseball team lost the first game 3-2 in extra innings and took the second, 3-1.
The Panthers got the scoring started in the first game in the second when Jac Agan hit a triple off the wall to send Bryce Zoutte across the plate. Hits by Tony Salato, Jard McClung, Jacob Kendall and Nolan Wallace in the third got one more run across in the third to put the Panthers up, 2-0.
Zoutte started the game for the Panthers and kept the Cardinals off the board until the fourth. Newton took advantage of Panther miscues, coupled with solid base running, to tie the game up at 2-2.
The score stayed that way as both teams turned up their pitching and defensive efforts. The game went into extra innings and in the top of the ninth, Newton was able to get a run across due to an overthrow to third base. They led 3-2 when the Panthers came back to bat.
Ross Shelford got things started in the bottom of the ninth with a shot to left center. Salato put down a sacrifice bunt to advance him to second.
Kevin Woodhouse hit a double, sending Shelford around the base paths. Unfortunately, Shelford did not beat the throw in to home and was tagged out by the catcher.
Throughout both games, Newton's pitchers were able to jam Knoxville's batters. Knoxville put a lot of power behind their swings, but their hits stayed in the air long enough for easy catches. Thus was the case with the last out of the game to give Newton the victory.
Kevin Woodhouse racked up five strikeouts against the Cardinals in game two and was backed up by solid defense. Newton threatened to score in the top of the first, but Catcher Tony Salato was able to nab the base runner.
Newton did strike first in the top of the third. The Panthers threatened in the fourth with back to back hits by Jacob Kendall and Nolan Wallace, but to no avail. That would not be the story in the Knoxville fifth.
Leadoff man Ross Shelford got the first of two doubles in the inning, with Salato getting one right behind him. Salato's hit put Shelford across to tie the game.
After Jared McClung took a walk, Kendall got a single to left to load the bases. Wallace was able to reach on an error and put a runner across to take the lead. With the bases still loaded, Bryce Zoutte reached on a fielder's choice with an RBI and gave the Panthers the 3-1 lead.
From there, Knoxville was able to hold Newton. The Panthers tried to get something going again in the sixth. Shelford made it to first and, in a collision with Newton's first baseman, injured the defensive player. Play was paused while the Cardinal was taken to the hospital with an apparent wrist injury.
Knoxville was able to close this one out in seven to secure the 3-1 win. They are now 9-7 overall and are scheduled to play another twin bill against the Dutch in Pella, beginning at 5:30 p.m.