Dawgs drop bi-district series to Panthers
By BEN PETET
The Midway Panthers baseball team defeated the Copperas Cove Dawgs two games to none in the bi-district round of the state playoffs.
The Dawgs traveled to Panther Field on Thursday night and were outscored 10-5 on Midway’s home turf. The game was able to be played due to Midway putting in a turf surface, new for this year, so the severe weather that went through the area around noon time didn’t postpone the game.
The Dawgs then hosted the Panthers on Friday night at Dawg Field with the Panthers coming out on top 2-0 in a pitching duel between the Dawgs’ David Cimmino and the Panthers’ Jeremiah Arnett.
In the first game Thursday evening, the Dawgs bats came out hot with Cimmino leading off with a single to center field. Travis Sanders followed that hit with a double to the gap between center and right field. Panther starting pitcher Jayden Honey helped himself with an unconventional yo-yo play to pick Sanders off second base. Honey was on the pitching rubber and made a move towards third base then turned and threw to second base. Usually if you throw to second base without stepping off the rubber it is a balk but since Honey first made a move toward third base it was a legal play and that caught Sanders surprised that a balk was not called.
With one out and a runner at third base, Honey struck out the next two batters to end the threat. In the home half of the inning the Panthers bats were hot as well with their leadoff batter Kade Tiner hitting a double to the left field corner. The next batter Patrick Kilgore was hit-by-pitch putting runners on first and second base with no outs. The Dawgs’ starting pitcher Antonio Espinoza got a strikeout but Panthers Tyson Flaig hit a single to left field that was misplayed allowing both Tiner and Kilgore to score and Flaig to go to second base. Espinoza got the next two batters out to make the score 2-0 Panthers after one inning.
In the top half of the second inning Honey had a 1-2-3 inning. In the home half of the inning Panther Joe Gibel led off with a single to left field and came around to score on a SAC fly by Kilgore making the score 3-0 Panthers after two innings.
A two-RBI double by Chapman plated Garcia, Leon and Sanders making the score 3-2 Panthers after two and a half innings. An attempted steal by Dawg catcher Manuel Chaco led to an ou, folloewd by two strikeouts to keep the score 3-2 Panthers after three innings.
In the home half of the fourth inning the Panthers sent eight batters to the plate scoring three runs and taking a 6-2 lead after four innings.
The Dawgs scored during the top of the fifth inning with a two-out RBI double by Sanders to right field. In the home half of the inning, the score remained 6-3 Panthers.
The Panthers put the game away in the home half of the sixth inning when they sent eight batters to the plate and scored four runs, making the score 10-3 after six innings.
In the seventh inning after one out, the Panthers brought in pitcher Hayden Stapleton. The Dawgs didn’t go away quietly, scoring two runs and having the bases loaded before Stapleton got the third out to end the game.
On Friday evening at Dawg Field, the pitchers were in control all night. The Dawgs’ starting pitcher David Cimmino had a 1-2-3 inning on only five pitches to open the game. In the home half of the first inning, the Panthers’ starting pitcher Jeremiah Arnett got a 6-4-3 double play with a 1-2-3 inning.
The second inning brought the Panthers the only runs of the game. Gabe Watson had a one-out walk and moved to second base on Joe Gibels single to left field. The Panthers put a double steal on and the throw down to third base went into left field, allowing Watson to score. Daylen Kirks hit an RBI double to left field, plating Gibel and making the score 2-0 for the Panthers. In the home half of the inning Arnett had another 1-2-3 inning with three strikeouts, keeping the score at 2-0.
In the top of the third inning Cimmino faced four batters to record the three outs. In the home half of the inning Arnett had his third straight 1-2-3 inning. Both teams remained without more scores in the fourth inning, with the fifth inning being 1-2-3 for both teams.
In the top of the sixth inning Tyson Flaig led off with a single to right field. The Panthers put in a pinch runner, Carson Taylor, to run for Flaig. Cimmino tossed over to first base a few times softly and then used his good move to pick off Taylor and record the first out. Watson followed with a walk but Cimmino got a 6-4-3 double play to end up having a 1-2-3 inning. In the home half of the inning Arnett had his fifth 1-2-3 inning to keep the score 2-0 Panthers after six innings.
In the top of the seventh inning Cayden Burch had a one-out walk, but Cimmino picked him off first base to record the second out. Braden Graves hit a double to right field, but Sanders came on to pitch and had a three-pitch strikeout to end the top half of the inning.
It took Arnett four batters to record the three outs and move the Panthers on in the playoffs. Arnett finished the complete game shutout only allowing two hits.
The Dawgs’ season is over and the Panthers will go on to play Rockwall in the area round of the playoffs.