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by Mark Cheffey
The PHS Panthers didn’t quite produce its A-game and it resulted in an end of their season in a 9-3 sectional loss at home to Elsberry Tuesday.
The Panthers (12-11-1) committed five fielding errors that helped lead to five unearned runs and put them in a hole early in the game.
“We just had more mistakes than Elsberry,” said Coach Mark Loman, who also credited Elsberry’s pitching as well.
“Their pitchers did a great job of getting ahead in counts and hitting location,” Loman said.
The game was scoreless until the top of the third when Elsberry turned two Panther errors and a single into a 2-0 lead.
Another error and two singles extended the Indians’ lead to 4-0 in the fourth, and another error led to a fifth inning run that came before Palmyra could finally respond.
Landyn Smith hit a two-out single, stole second and scored on Alex Wilson’s single for Palmyra’s first run in the bottom of the fifth.
Down 6-1 going into the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers rallied again and threatened to make a game of it when Alex Loman led off by reaching on an error and was immediately followed by singles from Rayce Ragar and Nolyn Richards.
Loman scored, but Ragar was cutdown on a relay throw from the outfield that blunted Palmyra’s momentum.
Richards would score on a passed ball to trim Elsberry’s lead to three, but the next two batters struck out to end the rally.
Elsberry responded with three runs in the top of the seventh and shutout Palmyra as the rains came to end the Panther season.
“Overall, our guys battled to the end, and I am very proud of the effort and improvement in the overall team play and with individuals,” Loman said in incapcilating the game and the season, as the Panthers came back from an 0-7 start to reach the playoffs.
“I thought our pitching was great,” he said. “Ethan Tallman and Landyn did a good job.
“Offensively, we just needed to be able to put some more balls in play to be able to execute our game plan of putting more pressure on them with bunting and running.”
Palmyra and Elsberry both produced seven hits in the game.
Smith led the way by going 3-for-4.
Elsbery (18-11) advanced to the Class 3 quarterfinals and was to play in Columbia against Father Tolton Regional Catholic (15-3) Thursday.
3/19 at S. Boone
S. Boone L 3-12, 0-1
Fulton L 2-10, 0-2
3/22 at Els. L 6-12, 0-3
3/29 QND L 0-15, 0-4
4/4 at B.G. L 2-5, 0-5
4/5 Macon L 0-6, 0-6
4/9 Mob. L 7-9, 0-7
4/11 at Unity W 11-5, 1-7
4/12 CC W 21-17, 2-7
4/14 at MC W 20-6, 3-7
4/15 Jacks. T 7-7, 3-7-1
at Busch Stad.
4/18 HV L 3-14, 3-8-1
4/19 at High. W 6-2, 4-8-1
4/22 at Brook. W 18-2, 5-8-1
4/28 at Cent. W 8-5, 6-8-1
4/30 B.O. L 1-5, 6-9-1
at S.C. W 6.5, 7-9-1
5/2 Lib. W 11-7, 8-9-1
5/7 Palmyra Slam
High. W 11-1, 9-9-1
5/9 S.S W 16-3, 10-9-1
5/12 Han. L 0-13, 10-10-1
5/13-18 District Tourney
(at S. Shelby)
5/16 MC W 11-9, 11-10-1
5/18 CC 6-2, 12-10-1
Els.L 3-9, 12-11-1