Starting pitcher Jordan White was going along nicely after the first two innings, allowing just one hit and no runs, but he ran into a buzz saw in the third and did not retire a batter.
The Panthers sent 22 batters to the plate, collecting 11 hits against three different Cougar hurlers. White faced nine batters in the third and all of them scored.
He was replaced on the mound by sophomore Alphonso Soto, and the left-hander did not have much luck either. His first 10 pitches were balls, which walked two batters and drove in a run. His 11th pitch was whacked for a two run single by Panther shortstop Shotaru Soga and his 12th pitch was sent far over the wall in left field for a three-run home run by the Panthers' Jake Riley.
Soto also faced nine batters and eight of them scored. He did get the first out of the inning when he struck out Panther pitcher Chase Downing, but it was already 12-0 at that point.
Freshman Mike Scott relieved Soto and wound up pitching the rest of the game. Scott gave up two hits in the third inning which accounted for the final three runs, but they were all charged to Soto. In two and 2/3 innings, Scott gave up four hits, walked two and struck out two. He gave up a pair of runs in the top of the fifth when he gave up back-to-back solo home runs by pitch hitters Kaleb Heddon and Hunter Jagoe.
Grayson County had few scoring opportunities against Downing. Sean Embry reached base with two out in the first after he was hit by a pitch, but he was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning.
The Cougars loaded the bases with just one out in the bottom of the third, but Embry hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end that threat.
White was hit by a pitch, then went to second on a wild pitch in the fourth, but Downing struck out Kyle Block to end the inning.
News-Gazette Sports Reporter