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Panthers edge Red Devils in 10 innings

Chad Matchett Cabot’s Casey Vaughan makes contact with a pitch against Fayetteville on Saturday at the Brian Wade Conrade Memorial Field.
Chad Matchett Cabot’s Casey Vaughan makes contact with a pitch against Fayetteville on Saturday at the Brian Wade Conrade Memorial Field.
Chad Matchett Cabot’s Gavin Tillery fires a pitch against Fayetteville on Saturday.
Chad Matchett Cabot’s Gavin Tillery fires a pitch against Fayetteville on Saturday.

Sandwiched between a pair of tough losses, the Cabot Panthers won a 10-inning thriller at Jacksonville 3-1 this past week.

Playing Thursday evening, Jacksonville struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Courtland McDonald walked, stole second and then scored on a error to give the Red Devils a 1-0 lead.

Thanks to good pitching and tight defense by the Panthers, that was all the Devils would get for the next few hours.

Junior Zach Patterson pitched the first seven innings for Cabot, not allowing a hit until the sixth inning. Patterson allowed three walks and two hit batters, while striking out eight.

Cabot didn’t score until the seventh inning when Casey Vaughn and Chipper Morris each reached on an error, with Vaughn scoring the tying run.

Jacksonville had a chance in the bottom of the seventh after the leadoff batter was hit, then sacrificed over to second base. Back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning sent the game into extra innings.

Neither team cold get a run across in the eighth or ninth innings, despite both getting runners into scoring position.

The Panthers finally broke through in the top of the tenth. Riley Knudsen led off with a walk, then was sacrificed to second. A double by Kason Kimbrell drove in Knudsen for the go-ahead run. Kimbrell would later score an insurance run on a double by Ryan Logan.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Kyle Kaufman walked the leadoff batter after pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth. Knudsen was brought in and promptly got a grounder back to him to start a double-play and clear the bases. A grounder to second ended the game, giving Cabot a 3-1 win.

Cabot lost a 3-0 duel against Little Rock Central earlier in the week. Morris, Vaughan, Knudsen, Logan and Coleman McAtee each had hits in the loss, but each came scattered in different innings.

Knudsen and Kimbrell combined pitching to only allow four hits, but they came in two innings to provide the Tigers the runs they needed.

Against Fayetteville on Saturday, the Panthers couldn’t contain the Bulldogs’ offense this time. Fayetteville had two singles, three doubles and a triple in the first inning as Fayetteville was on the way to a 14-3 win.

Morris, Knudsen and Scott Burnett each had singles in the fourth and final inning.

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