The Purple Panthers had so much fun picking up their first win of the season, they decided to try it again on Thursday, May 13, when Litchfield welcomed Southwestern.
The Panthers would be successful in claiming their second win of the season when they put two runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, allowing them to break a 0-0 tie and improve their record to 2-4 overall.
Picking up win number two would not come easy in this pitching duel, as the Panthers would only be able to claim two hits in the contest.
Litchfield’s first hit would come in the bottom half of the third inning when Drake Gasperson singled with one out in the inning. Gasperson would not be able to advance any further on the base paths as the following two batters would be shut down.
Litchfield would not be able to collect another hit in the bottom of the sixth inning. Gasperson would once again make his way onto the base paths as he would reach first on a fielding miscue by the Piasa Birds.
Southwestern would retire the next two Litchfield batters, once again threatening to strand a Litchfield base runner on the base paths.
Gasperson would take second base during one of the two out at-bats as he would swipe second base, putting himself in scoring position.
Carson Saathoff put the ball in play and reached first on a Piasa Birds’ error, allowing Gasperson to score the go-ahead run
Logan Schmitz would take over the running duties for Saathoff and would quickly give Litchfield a 2-0 lead. Schmitz would touch home plate when Byce Hires tripled for an insurance run.
The story of the game came from the Panthers’ pitching combo of Jacob Frerichs and Jacob Budd, who would pitch a seven-inning shutout. Frerichs would get the call to start the contest and lasted five and two-thirds innings, striking out eight batters and allowing only four hits in the contest.
Budd would take over the bump for Frerichs in the sixth inning and would close out the contest, striking out two Piasa Birds, allowing no hits and no runs in the inning and a third.
Litchfield’s performance would result in their second win of the year as they knocked off the Piasa Birds 2-0 and improved to 2-4 on the season.
May 13 at Litchfield
Southwestern 000 000 0 0 4 3
Litchfield 000 002 x 2 2 3
S’western IP R ER H K BB
LeMarr 6 2 0 2 9 1
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
Frerichs 5.2 0 0 3 8 1
Budd 1.1 0 0 0 2 0
Multiple Hits: None. 3B: Litchfield - Bryce Hires 1.
Record: Litchfield (2-4), Southwestern (4-12).
After winning their last two ball games, Litchfield would travel to unfamiliar territory on Saturday, May 15, as they would venture to Petersburg for a showdown with the PORTA Bluejays.
The Purple Panthers would once again out hit their opponent (7-4) but failed to outscore them as the Bluejays outscored the Panthers 5-3.
The Panthers would get on the board first in the top half of the second inning. After two outs were recorded Chase Hires would collect a single. Hires would end up on second base due to a fielding miscue, allowing Litchfield to have a runner in scoring position.
With two outs Hires would be moving on contact as Jace Stewart did his job by putting the ball in play. Stewart’s hit would result in another fielding miscue by the Bluejays, allowing Stewart to reach first safely and Hires to touch home plate, giving Litchfield a 1-0 lead.
The Panthers would get another base runner on the paths as Drake Gasperson reached first base on a six-pitch walk, giving Litchfield runners on first and second with two outs. The scoring threat would quickly be shut down as the Bluejays would pick up the third out of the inning.
In the following two innings PORTA would answer the Litchfield challenge as they put five runs in the scorebook. The Bluejays put a one spot on the board in the bottom of the third inning and add four more in the bottom of the fourth inning, giving PORTA a 5-1 lead after four innings of action.
Litchfield would still have some fight in them as they would strike again in the top half of the fifth inning. Jacob Frerichs opened the inning with a triple as he took a shot to right field. Frerichs would score during the next at-bat when Jacob Budd struck out, but PORTA’s catcher would not be able to field the third strike cleanly, allowing Budd to scamper down to first base.
PORTA would retire Budd before he reached first base safely, allowing Frerichs to score from third on the throw to first. Frerichs’ score would narrow the PORTA lead to 5-2.
The Panthers would need some last inning heroics as Litchfield looked to delete the three-run deficit in their final attempt. With one out Jacob Frerichs put another spark into the Panthers’ offense as he once again hit a shot to right field, this time for a home run.
Frerichs’ round-tripper would give the Panthers three runs, as the Bluejays would now lead 5-3.
PORTA would expire the following two batters, preventing Litchfield to respond to Frerichs’ spark. PORTA would claim the 5-3 victory and keep Litchfield from their third straight win. The loss would drop Litchfield to 2-5 overall as PORTA improved to 10-7.
May 15 at Petersburg
Litchfield 010 010 1 3 7 2
PORTA 001 400 x 5 4 3
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
Harris 0 0 0 0 0 3
Gasperson 3 1 0 1 3 2
Stewart 2 4 4 4 1 3
Hires 1 0 0 0 1 0
Multiple Hits: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 2-4. 3B: Litchfield - Jacob Budd 1, Jacob Frerichs 1. HR: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 1. Runs: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 2, Chase Hires 1. RBI: Litchfield - Jacob Frerichs 1, Jace Stewart 1.
Record: Litchfield (2-5), PORTA (10-7).