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Arrgh matey, Panthers take pair from Pirates

by David Tesitor
CRIPPLE CREEK, VICTOR- The snow which began to fall lightly at the end of a doubleheader did not cool the Panther bats as they completed their sweep of the Cripple Creek Pirates, scoring seven runs in the top of the seventh of the second game to claim their fourth victory in a row.
The Cats shut out the Pirates 4-0 in the first game off the strong pitching talents of Charlie Whitehead. Whitehead pitched a complete game, striking out ten batters and allowing two hits while enroute to victory. The outfield also did their job, playing an errorless game.
The offense only had four hits in the game, which was enough. Whitehead opened with a double in the second. Whitehead stole third to put him in scoring position. Jacob Wiggins then had a RBI double to drive in Whitehead. Whitehead had a RBI in the third. Zach Harriman had a triple in the fifth, driving in John Burch, and John Paul Vigil had a RBI single in the fifth to round out the scoring. According to Coach De Herrera, “Overall we pitched a good game and our defense did not allow a run. We did not hit the ball to our potential.”
The second game saw few hits in the first two innings, but the Panthers came alive in the third with three runs. JP Vigil opened the hitting spree with a triple and Whitehead walked. With runners at the corners, MichaelRyan Griego hit a 2 RBI double. Griego also scored, giving the Panthers a three-run lead. The Pirates answered right back with three of their own to tie the score. The Pirates then took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when a run scored. Panther pitcher Burch pitched a solid four innings then was pulled for two innings. Michael Maldonado came in as relief for the two innings.
The Panthers tied it up in the sixth and then exploded in the seventh inning with seven unanswered runs just as the snow began to fall. Burch had a blooper single to put the lead run on base. Harriman had a single and RBI to give the Cats the lead. Harriman then stole third base, putting him in scoring position. Whitehead’s RBI single drove Harriman home to give the Cats some extra insurance. Griego had a double to score Whitehead. Wiggins hit an inside-the-park home run to the gap between center and right field. Maldonado also laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single and Jeremiah Hill got on base with a single. By now, the batting order cycled and Whitehead’s single drove in Maldonado and Hill to give the Panthers the victory. Whitehead closed out the pitching duties, shutting down any Pirate attempt at a comeback.