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Baseball: Panthers advance to third round with win

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WELDON Granville Central advanced to the third round of the NCHSAA baseball playoffs with a decisive 24-4 win against Weldon on May 10.

The Panthers stepped off the bus and started hitting the ball in the first inning. Wyatt Laws, Hunter Tressler, Joe Delossantos and James Marshburn scored to give Granville Central an early 4-0 lead.

The Chargers picked up two runs in the bottom of the first inning to trim the Granville Central advantage to 4-2.

The Panthers would then tack on seven runs in the top of the seventh inning. Laws was hit by a pitch to start the inning, followed by a Delossantos single. Marshburn slapped a double to clear the bases for the Panthers.

The cycle started over again as JJ Tilley was hit by a pitch and Austin Falls reached first safely on a fielder’s choice. Billy Blevins singled for the Panthers.

Granville Central batted around and Laws drew a walk his second time around. Tressler and Delossantos singled for the Panthers. After the dust settled, the Panthers led 11-2.

Weldon tried to keep pace with the Panthers. The Chargers picked up two runs in the bottom of the second inning to trim the lead to 11-4.

Panthers head coach Barry Moore would insert some subs into the game, seeing an opportunity to get more of his players playoff experience that may come in handy as the Panthers advance deeper in the tournament.

Colton Powell drew a walk to start the third inning. Tyler Clark, a sophomore, singled to advance Powell to second. Matthew Pennington drew a walk to load the bases for the Panthers. Blevins singled to drive in Powell and Clark and move Pennington to third.

Devon Padgett singled to send Pennington and Blevins home. Padgett scored on a sacrifice fly and the Panthers had a 16-4 lead.

The Chargers came up empty in the third inning, but Granville Central bats continued to sizzle and the Panthers added six runs to the book.

Jimmy Campbell singled to start the top of the fourth inning for Granville Central. Powell and Clark continued the hot hitting with singles. The Panthers turned it up a bit with back-to0back doubles by Pennington and Falls. Padgett hit his second single of the night. When Weldon finally got the third out the lead had grown to 22-4.

The Panthers then tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. Falls was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Laws reached on an error. Padgett hit his third single of the night to score Falls and move Laws into scoring position.

Daniel Parham, a freshman, drew a walk for the Panthers. Campbell belted a single to send Laws across the plate before the Chargers could get the third out.

The Panthers had a 24-4 lead and held Weldon scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning and the game was called due to the 10-run rule.

Laws picked up the win on the mound for the Panthers. He worked two innings and struck out four batters. Austin Falls worked one inning and struck out three batters. Matthew Pennington worked two innings and struck out four Chargers.

Statistics Tyler Clark (2-for-3, RBI), Colton Powell (2-for-3, RBI), Devon Padgett (3-for-3, 3 RBIs), Austin Falls (1-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2B), Billy Blevins (2-for-4, 2 RBIs), Caleb Underwood (RBI), James Marshburn (1-for-3, RBI, 2B), Matthew Pennington (1-for-2, RBI, 2B), JJ Tilley (RBI), Joe Delossantos (3-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2B), Brady Smith (1-for-2, RBI), Hunter Tressler (1-for-1, 2 RBIs) Wyatt Laws (1-for-6, RBI, 3B) and Jimmy Campbell (2-for-2, RBI).

Weldon finished the season with a 7-3 record. The Panthers advanced to face Riverside in the third round of the 1A playoffs.