With a bye week on the District 12-2A baseball schedule, Van Alstyne took the opportunity to get some game experience for the entire roster as the Panthers traveled to Anna on April 15.
Van Alstyne Coach Jimmy Haynes told us prior to the game that he would use almost every player on his team in the non-district tilt and he was a man of his word as 18 different Panther batters came to the plate.
Van Alstyne also used five pitchers in the contest.
Anna rallied from a 2-0 deficit and posted a 5-3 win over Van Alstyne in a game that had just seven hits by both teams.
Alex Phillips walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the second inning, and the Panthers got singles from Kearon Redmon and Will Jones in the third as Redmon scored the second Van Alstyne run of the game.
Anna came back in the bottom half of the second, scoring three runs to take the lead.
Bailey Thorpe reached on a fielder’s choice in the Van Alstyne fourth, moved to second on a ground out by Jacob Darnell and scored on a Jon Burge single, tying the score at 3-all.
The advantage was short lived as Anna answered, scoring single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to get the 5-3 lead that they held for the win.
Van Alstyne has district games left with Pilot Point and Caddo Mills. The Panthers will go into the Pilot Point contest one game ahead of Farmersville and Leonard as the three teams battle for the final two playoff spots. Van Alstyne and Pilot Point will meet Friday at Forrest Moore Park.
Van Alstyne 0-1-1-1-0-0-0—3
VA (10-10-1) (6-4)
Leonard 7, Van Alstyne 0
Guess we will have to take the hit on this one.
After our article disparaging the pitching work of Ty McKinney of Leonard in his team’s first meeting with the Panthers, the senior right-hander handcuffed Van Alstyne at his home park, allowing just one hit in the Tigers 7-0 win on April 11.
McKinney got all the offensive help he needed in the second inning, along with some shaky Van Alstyne defense.
Ryan Nixon singled to start the frame and, with two Panther errors mixed in, scored along with Blake Cummings to give Leonard a 2-0 lead; that’s all it needed on this night. Leonard pounded out 11 hits in the contest, getting four consecutive hits in the third inning to score four runs.
A Kearon Redmon single in the top of the sixth was the Panthers’ only base hit of the night.
After giving up those seven runs by the end of the fourth inning, Jake Hillebrenner and Triston Pryor blanked the Tigers over the final two frames, but the offense did not answer Leonard’s early lead.
Van Alstyne 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0—0