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North Penn-Mansfield baseball falls to Athens, 3-2

by Ed Weaver - April 22, 2017

The Athens Wildcats ended North Penn-Mansfield’s seven-game win streak on the baseball diamond on Friday, April 21, with a 3-2 win over the Tigers.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Matt Collings hit into a fielder’s choice to reach base and Cody Jennings singled past third base to put two runners on board. A Marc Felt hit brought both runners home to put the Tigers down early.

Athens’ offense sparked again in the top of the fourth, this time with Felt leading off with a single. Felt, however, was caught in a rundown while trying to steal and was eventually tagged out. That didn’t stop the Wildcats as Cory Stivason singled to left field then Joe Horn brought him home with a single to center field to make it 3-0.

Mansfield broke the shutout in bottom of the fourth. Carl Dinger got things started by beating out an infield hit, then a Joel Whitteker base hit put Dinger on third base. Derrick Herbst grounded to second base and reached on a throwing error. Dinger scored easily on the play, but as Whitteker headed for home, Athens’ Daniel Joyce setup to block the plate. Whitteker appeared to slide under Joyce’s tag, but was called out, giving Athens a 3-1 lead.

The Tigers’ offense fired again in the bottom of the sixth. Dinger was hit by a pitch in the inning’s opening at bat, then Whitteker hit into a fielder’s choice and Dinger was out at second. Whitteker stole second to get into scoring position and advanced to third as Herbst grounded out to the pitcher. A Dewey Wise double during the next at bat scored Whitteker to cut the score to 3-2.

Athens threatened in the top of the seventh as Jennings was hit by a pitch during his at bat. Felt doubled to deep center, but a nice relay throw tagged Jennings out as he tried to score for the third out of the inning.

With momentum on their side heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers came up empty-handed. Brendan Hill grounded out to second to lead off the inning. Kipp Hillson singled to center to get on base, but JP Shaw grounded into a game-ending double play the next at bat, giving Athens the 3-2 win, and the Tigers their first loss of 2017.

“We battled, that’s a very good team,” said head coach Matt Perry. “We knew it was going to be a tough game to begin with and runs were going to be hard to get, but it was good we battled back. They got three early, but we hung around. The pitchers threw well. I can’t think of any noticeable errors that stood out. We made a nice play at home. Everybody played pretty well, it was just a 3-2 loss.”

Jennings and Felt were both 3-for-4 from the plate to lead Athens. Felt also had 2 RBI’s. Horn was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Stivason, Luke Newman, and Ryan Kennedy added hits. Jennings earned the win on the mound, pitching 5 innings, allowing one run on 3 hits and 8 strikeouts.

For the Tigers – Hill, Hillson, Dinger, Whitteker, and Wise had hits, with Wise’s being a double. Herbst and Wise also had RBI’s. Logan Adams pitched 6 innings in the loss, allowing 3 runs on 10 hits with 5 strikeouts.

The loss drops the Tigers to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the NTL Large School Division standings, a half game behind Athens (8-1, 6-1 NTL). The team will be back in action later this afternoon against Troy.

Credits:

Idea/Concept: Ed Weaver
Videography: Kline Kaufer, Tyler Burgett
Video Editing: Kline Kaufer
Writing: Ed Weaver
Anchor: Ed Weaver
Correspondent: Ed Weaver

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