SOUTH WEBSTER — The Clay Panthers kept up their winning ways with their Scioto County summer baseball campaign on Thursday.
That’s because the Panthers posted their third consecutive victory, winning at South Webster with a count of 10-7.
The Panthers are now 3-1, with their only setback coming against the same Jeeps, which won at Clay 7-5 two weeks ago.
They have also defeated both Valley (4-0) and Minford (7-2).
Following the cancellation of the Ohio High School Athletic Association spring season, the Panthers — along with Minford, Valley, Notre Dame and South Webster from Scioto County — joined Coal Grove from Ohio and Raceland and Greenup County from Kentucky in forming an independent league.
On Thursday, the Panthers took significant advantage of 13 combined free passes from the Jeeps’ pitching staff.
Thus, Clay’s formula for success was simple.
“Our pitchers totaled 13 walks and hit batsmen which really hurt us,” said South Webster coach Ryan McClintic. “We either walked or hit the leadoff batter in five of seven innings, which never turns out good. Four of the five leadoff walks or hit batters we committed turned into their runs.”
South Webster was also guilty of four errors.
Shaden Malone started and pitched the first four innings for Clay and earned the win, while Clay Cottle came on in relief for the final two innings and gained the save.
Malone, who conked a double and drove in two runs at the plate, allowed only one earned run on the mound.
Jaden Jessee went 2-for-2 and added an RBI.
The Jeeps did collect nine total hits, including a 3-for-4 game and three RBI by Brice Robnett.
Gabe Ruth, Jaren Lower, Riley Cook, Levi Murphy, Gavin Baker and Cam Carpenter had one hit apiece, as Carpenter, Baker, Murphy, Robnett and Ruth recorded one run scored.
Lower crossed twice as Ruth, Cook, Murphy and Caleb Cunningham chipped in an RBI.
The Panthers return home to host Notre Dame on Monday, while South Webster will host Minford that day.
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved