Vandals steal victory over Panthers with late surge
MABANK–The Mabank Panthers hosted their Senior night in their final regular season game of 2019 against the Van Vandals April 23 at home.
Mabank seniors Tyler Pruitt, Alynn Gentry, Chandler Carter, Peyton Johannesen, Jake Carter and Kobey Roberts were honored prior to the game against Van Tuesday night.
Grant McManus took the mound for the Panthers Tuesday night against the Vandals looking to close out the 2019 season on a high note for Mabank.
After both teams went down without much of a struggle in the first two innings, the Vandals entered the top of the third inning looking to get on the board first against Mabank.
With a runner on first base and one out, Van put on the hit-and-run. With the runner taking off from first base, the Vandals batter drilled a sinking line drive to right field that was caught by a sliding Grant Capehart, who then tossed the ball in to first base to complete the double play and help McManus out of trouble.
Pruitt led off the bottom half of the inning with a ringing single into the outfield. Jake Carter then reached as he was hit by a pitch before Capehart laid down a perfect drag bunt in between the pitcher and third baseman for a bunt single to load the bases with no outs for the Panthers.
Chandler Carter’s bunt was a little too hard as it rolled back to the Van pitcher, who tossed the ball home for the force out. A strikeout from Roberts and a groundout from McManus would end the inning as the Panthers came up dry on the offensive side to keep the game scoreless through three innings.
The Vandals finally broke through with a run in the top of the fourth inning to break the scoreless tie as they took a 1-0 lead.
The two teams went scoreless through the next 1.5 innings before the Vandals stepped to the plate again in the top of the sixth inning. Van finally broke through the tough pitching of McManus as they plated four runs in the inning to take a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning.
The Vandals would plate two more runs as the Panthers’ bats went silent on Senior night as they fell to Van by a final of 7-0.
The Vandals scored seven runs on six hits with one error while the Panthers were held scoreless on three hits with three errors.
McManus went 6.1 innings on the mound for Mabank, finishing the game with eight strikeouts. Johannesen came on in relief, striking out one Van batter in the loss.
The Panthers finish up the 2019 season 8-15-1 overall.