Catamounts Defeat Top-Ranked Falcons, Reaching All-Time High

The Panther Creek Baseball team is having their best season in school history, and their win over Green Hope put the exclamation point on the season.

Josh Maciejewski had four strikeouts and did not allow any runs in seven innings played.

David Robertson

Josh Maciejewski had four strikeouts and did not allow any runs in seven innings played.

Caleb Lawrence, Staff Reporter, Sports

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Never before has the Panther Creek varsity baseball team defeated Green Hope until Friday, April 11th, 2014. With senior pitcher Josh Maciejewski on third base with only one out, catcher Matt Mitchum hit a ground ball past second – sealing the game at 1-0 with a walk-off RBI (run-batted-in) in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“It felt amazing.” said Mitchum of his walk-off RBI.

I wasn’t hitting so hot throughout the game, but that one hit I got came at the right time.”

— Matt Mitchum

Mitchum’s hit came at the perfect time in a game that saw each team combine for just six hits (four for Panther Creek, two for Green Hope). Two of the Catamounts’ four hits came in the last inning; Josh Maciejewski managed to get on base as the leadoff batter in the inning, eventually advancing all the way to third base to set up Mitchum’s RBI. Maciejewski, who usually wins games with his pitching, was thrilled to get a chance to help win a game with his batting as well. “It’s pretty cool to get to win a game both pitching and scoring the game-winning run.” said Maciejewski. “As soon as [Mitchum] hit it I was booking home.”

The game will be remembered for the game-winning RBI by Mitchum, but with only one run scored the entire game, the matchup was really a pitching duel. Both Maciejewski and Green Hope’s Michael Merryman pitched all seven innings. Merryman finished with a line of 7 IP (innings played), 4 H (hits), 1 R (run), 3 BB (walks), 4 K (strikeouts). Maciejewski was two hits better than Merryman with a line of 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. Merryman picked up a loss on his record, however he cannot be faulted for such a gutty performance, in which he only allowed one run. Maciejewski now has a record of 4-1, his only loss coming in a game in which he only allowed one run.

Panther Creek not only beat Green Hope for the first time, but also beat what many consider to be the best team the Falcons have ever fielded; Green Hope was the top-ranked team in the state prior to losing to Panther Creek. The Catamounts were the first team to defeat the Falcons this season, making the victory all the more sweeter.

Unfortunately for the Catamounts, their conference record of 6-2 is tied for second best in the SWAC with Apex, and since the Falcons will not likely lose another game, the Catamounts will have to beat them one more time, and not lose anymore games, if they wish to be crowned conference champions. The Falcons are 8-1 in the conference, with a half-game lead over the Catamounts and a one-and-a-half game lead over Apex in the conference race.

The Panther Creek baseball team is primed not only for a run at the SWAC title, but the state title as well. The SWAC is one of the best, if not the best, baseball conference in North Carolina; SWAC teams Fuquay-Varina and Middle Creek won two of the last three state championships, and Green Hope was the favorite to win it all this season. Panther Creek proved that they have what it takes to make it to the state championship by defeating the Falcons, and they’re primed to make a run at the title in May.

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