Panthers get blanked by Syrupmakers
Published 10:42 pm Monday, April 9, 2018
By Staff Reports
CAIRO – The Americus-Sumter baseball team was hoping to build on their 6-1 win over Westover on Friday, April 6. However, the Syrupmakers of Cairo made sure that didn’t happen as they scored five runs in the second, five more in the third and four in the fourth on their way to shutting out the Panthers 14-0 on Monday, April 9, at Cairo High School.
The Panthers were held to just two hits the whole game, and they committed two errors. Cairo scored 14 runs on 13 hits and committed no errors.
Christian Mable and Braelin Williams were the only Panthers to get hits off of Cairo pitching. Mable only had one at bat and made the most of it with a hit, while Williams went 1-for-2.
D.J. Collins led the hit parade for the Syrupmakers, going 3-for-3, scoring a run and driving in five RBIs.
The Panthers got things started off in the right direction in the top of the first as Mable led off with a single. However, Kierston Harvey and Timothy Etheridge grounded into a fielder’s choice and Brandon Alford grounded out to shortstop to end their half of the inning.
Cairo scored their first run in the bottom of the second. Christian McDugle doubled to lead off the inning. Then J.T. Andrews singled to drive in the first run of the game. Unfortunately for the Panthers, it was a prelude of things to come. Dawson Humphries then singled on a fly ball to right center, allowing Andrews to advance to second. ASH starter Braelin Williams struck out Conor Johnson for the first out, then got Slade Baggett to fly out to center for the second out.
The Syrupmakers still had two men on with two out. ASH decided to give Garrett Gainous an intentional walk to load the bases. However, the strategy backfired as Hayes Stills was hit by a pitch, scoring Humphries. Then Williams walked D.J. Collins, scoring another run for the Syrupmakers. Benji Prince was then hit by a pitch by Williams and another run scored for Cairo. By this time, Cairo led 4-0 with the bases still loaded and two outs. Blake Touchton grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Hayes Stills to make it 5-0 Syrupmakers. The Panthers were able to get the third out on the play, but not before the fifth run scored.
The Panthers couldn’t get anything going on offense against Cairo starter Ethan Godwin. The Syrupmakers took advantage of the Panthers’ lack of offense by scoring five more runs in the bottom of the third. Timothy Etheridge came on in relief of Williams. The first batter he faced, J.T. Andrews, belted a solo home run over the left field wall to give the Syrupmakers a 6-0 lead.
The Panthers went in order in the top of the fourth. Then in the bottom of the fourth, Cairo resumed their offensive attack. With two outs, Slade Baggett singled, then Blake Touchton drew a walk. This was followed by another walk to Hayes Stills. Just like that, the bases were loaded for D.J. Collins. Collins tripled, driving in Baggett, Touchton and Stills, making the score 13-0 Cairo. With a man on third and two outs, Benji Prince singled in the final run of the game.
ASH went in order in the top of the fifth, and that ended the ball game due to the massive run differential.
Braelin Williams started on the mound for the Panthers and went two innings. He gave up five runs on five hits. He struck out two, walked two and hit two batters.
Timothy Etheridge, who came on in relief of Williams, worked two innings. He gave up nine runs on eight hits. One of those hits was the solo home run by J.T. Andrews in the bottom of the third. He struck out one batter and walked four.
Cairo starter Ethan Godwin went the entire five innings. He didn’t give up any runs and only gave up two hits. He struck out five and walked none.
The Panthers (3-13, 2-7) will try to rebound from this rough outing when they step out of region play and head to Columbus to take on Jordan at Golden Park on Thursday, April 12. First pitch is at 4:30 p.m.