CHILLICOTHE — The Clay Panthers liked what they saw in their trip to Chillicothe to play at the VA Memorial Stadium.
The Panthers — seeded No. 3 in the Division IV district tournaments that were released on Sunday — took care of business against the No. 4 seed Whiteoak Wildcats in a non-league meeting at the site of the upcoming D4 district championships.
Clay caught onto Whiteoak’s pitching late, scoring 10-unanswered runs from the bottom of the fourth inning on in their 12-2 win in six innings.
Clay totaled 10 hits, including three by senior Shaden Malone. Malone’s three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth helped jump-start a five-run inning and propel the Panthers to a win in six innings.
Senior Clay Cottle earned the win on the mound, allowing five hits and no earned runs in four and one-third innings pitched.
Malone took over in relief in the fifth and retired every batter he faced of the next five.
Mitchell King and Jaden Jessee both had a pair of RBI in the victory, while Evan Woods and Carson Porginski had one each.
“This was a really big win for our program,” Panthers coach Marc Cottle said, afterwards. “Whiteoak is a well coached, very good team and we were able to come out on top. Clay and Shaden pitched well and we hit from top to bottom of the lineup.”
Whiteoak: 1 0 0 1 0 0 — 2 5 3
Clay: 2 0 0 2 3 5 — 12 10 2
W: Cottle (C), L: Emery: (W)