07/14/2022 10:03 PM -
The Panthers moved only 0.5 games out of playoff position with a win against the Joliet Generals on Thursday at Marian Catholic High School.
The game was a back-and-forth affair featuring three lead changes. Five solid innings out of Justin Schassburger and two scoreless relief innings from Charlie Schau out of the bullpen kept the Panthers in it, and a three fun sixth inning sealed the 5-3 Panthers win.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, the Panthers loaded the bases in the bottom half. This set up a Nico Pena RBI groundout scoring Jimmy Gurgone to tie it at 1.
In the third, Gurgone (who reached base in all four of his plate appearances), while stealing third, tried to advance home on a throwing error by DeShawnte Carraway. Gurgone was interfered with by third baseman Anthony Stellato, and Gurgone was allowed to advance home to make it 2-1 Panthers.
In the top of the fifth, the Generals pushed across two unearned runs to take a 3-2 lead. However, the Panthers would respond in the sixth.
After a pair of walks and a wild pitch to start off the frame. Malik Staples chopped an infield single to score Connor Janik and tie the game. Joshua Aguiniga would then drive in Schau ona. Groundout to give Crestwood the lead, and Gurgone would add an insurance RBI single to make it 5-3.
“Us being able to put the ball in play got the job done regardless of it being a hit or not.” Head coach D’Vante Glenn said.
On the mound, Scassburger and Schau combined to give up only one earned run on the day. They also both walked only two Generals combined on the day.
“They both did great.” Glenn said, “It was phenomenal to see.”
The Panthers play next on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Legacy Fields in Crown Point against the Lake County Corn Dogs. The Panthers have 12 of their last 17 games against the top three teams in the Northern League while trying to make the playoff push. A challenge the Panthers are willing to face head-on.
“We have to be able to go out there with a lot of confidence and play clean.” Glenn said.
For the full box score, visit the Northern League Pointstrak page: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=577441