Panther baseball earns first playoff win in 35 years

History was made Saturday night as the Saint Jo baseball team won the program’s first playoff game in more than 30 years against Northside.
Moved from Windthorst to Bowie High School due to weather, the Panthers were able take control early and win 6-2 against the Indians.
Saint Jo had beaten Northside 14-2 and 12-1 earlier in the season and came in confident they would be able to easily get the win. The Panthers learned they were going to have to work for it this time around.
The Indians were able to draw a one out walk. The runner was able to advance to second due to a bad pick off throw that put Northside in position to score first. Fortunately, pitcher Harper Roberts was able to get the next two outs seamlessly to get out of the inning.
Roberts led off for Saint Jo and was able blast a line drive single. The quick Roberts was able to steal second and third. A wild pitch then allowed him to advance home as he beat the throw to score the game’s first run and put the Panthers up 1-0.
Unfortunately, the rest of the Saint Jo batters were having some trouble. The Indians pitcher threw a slow ball with an unorthodox delivery that gave many Saint Jo batters trouble squaring up to it as hit balls landed safely in fielder’s gloves as the game moved to the second inning.
Roberts had some trouble on the mound again as he walked two batters with one out to put a runner in scoring position. He was able to bounce back by striking out the next two batters to get out of the pickle.
Wyatt Geurin led off the inning with a single. He was able to advance to second due to a bad pickoff throw.
Cody Thurman was able drive him in with a single line drive to put the Panthers up 2-0 heading into the third inning.
A leadoff walk came back to bite Saint Jo. The runner was able to advance to second due to a ground out.
With two outs, the Indians got their first hit of the game on a bloop single right in between the infield and outfield. It was enough to score the runner and cut the lead to 2-1 for Northside.
The Panthers answered back with Connor Thompson who was able to get on base with a hit.
After advancing to second, he was able to steal third base. The throw was bad and this allowed Thompson to advance home as he beat the throw, bumping Saint Jo’s lead to 3-1.
It was the Panther’s second run due to advantageous base running as the game went into the fourth inning.
A leadoff walk from the Indians got worked into scoring position at second on a ground out.
The next batter hit a fly ball to the center fielder, who caught it and threw the ball to second before the runner could get back for the inning ending double play.
The Saint Jo Panthers could not get anything going offensively as the game moved into the fifth inning.
Northside was able to draw another leadoff walk to start the inning. A ground out moved him to second and into scoring position, but Roberts was able to get the next two batters out to leave the runner stranded on second.
Jose “Pepe” Gams led off the inning with a drawn walk. Next batter Preston Lyons was then hit by a pitch to put two base runners on.
Thompson came up to bat and drilled a ball into the gap of the outfield. There was some trouble handling the ball and this allowed Thompson to get all the way around the bases for an inside the park home run to put the Panthers up 6-1 heading into the fifth inning.
The Indians started to get a hold of some of Roberts pitches as they led of the inning with back-to-back singles. With no outs, Roberts looked like he might be in trouble.
Roberts was able to pick off the runner on second who was not paying attention to get the first out. He was then able to strike out the next batter and force a ground out to third base for the third out.
Thurman was able to get on base due to fielding error and Logan Morman followed with a single. Unfortunately, Saint Jo was not able to get extend their lead any as both runners stayed where they were and the lead stayed 6-1 heading into the final inning.
Roberts looked like he was going to be able to finish the game on the mound, despite his pitch count reaching its limit. He was able to get the first two outs easily enough and was one strike away from ending things. Another bloop single right over the second basemen’s head and right in front of the right fielder allowed a runner to get on base. A passed ball allowed the runner to advance to second and put himself in scoring position. The next batter hit a ground ball, but the infielder could not make the play at first for the final out, allowing the base runner on second to score and cut the lead to 6-2.
It was the final batter Roberts could face due to his pitch count and Thompson came in to close the game. It did not take him long as his three pitches all went for strikes as he struck out the final batter to end the game.

To read more, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.