Caleb Riordan | Ameritime Sports Writer
The South Iron Panthers took care of Southern Reynolds 9-5 on Friday.
South Iron had lost two of its last three games before Friday after going 9-1 to start the season.
“I think we respond very well to losses,” Brock Wakefield said. “We try to learn from them but try not to let them affect our next game.”
The Panthers have a knack for scoring early and it was no different this time around. Joel Poston reached base on an error by the Southern Reynolds third baseman and Cody Hughes scored on the same play to take an early 1-0 lead.
Southern Reynolds scored a run to tie the game in the top of the third but the Panthers returned with a haymaker. The rally started with a Drenin Dinkins sacrifice fly that scored Brandon Young to break the tie. The next at bat, Hughes hit an RBI-single to right field that scored Wakefield. Later in the inning, Hunter Kelley hit a single that scored a run and the Panthers added one more on another error by Southern Reynolds. The Panthers left the third inning up 5-1.
South Iron continued to capitalize on the opposition’s mistakes. The Panthers increased their lead to 7-1 after they scored two runs on an error by the pitcher. In the bottom of the fifth Harley Lewis scored on another Southern Reynolds’ error. Wakefield singled in Kelley later in the inning. South Iron led 9-1.
There was a scoring drought for both sides until the top of the seventh. In a last-ditch effort Southern Reynolds scored four runs in the final frame, but ultimately fell short. The Panthers won 9-5.
Hughes went 3-4 at the plate, had one RBI and scored two runs. Kelley and Wakefield had two hits each. Wakefield and Lewis each scored two runs.
Wakefield started the game on the mound for the Panthers and was nothing short of dominant. He threw 111 pitches in six innings, allowed two hits, one run and struck out 14
Southern Reynolds batters. Lewis and Dinkins came in to relieve Wakefield.
“Brock has worked hard in the offseason to get stronger, therefore his fastball has been more dominant this season,” head coach Don Wakefield said. “He continues to put up really good numbers at the plate and from the mound, but without the hard work and excellent performance from the other eight it would almost be impossible to put up those numbers.”
The win pushed South Iron’s record to 11-3. The Panthers next test will come against Van Buren Saturday, Sep. 26.