Baseball: Huntingdon takes GSAC championship from Panthers
Huntingdon took the 2012 Great South Athletic Conference Tournament championship with a 17-9 win over LaGrange in Williamson Stadium at Cleaveland Field on Sunday. The Panthers (17-27) had beaten the Hawks (30-12) 6-5 earlier in the day to force a deciding game.
In the win, LaGrange pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. Brandon Espinosa led off the inning with a single to right center. He moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, then over to third on a ground out. Josh Shiver drove in Espinosa with a two-out hit to left and a 6-5 lead.
Doug Scherer (6-5), who entered the game in the sixth, gave up a one-out single to Evan Agnew in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Agnew was thrown out trying to steal second by catcher Linwood Roberds to end the game.
The Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead with two runs each in the second and third innings. Miles Lee drove in the first run with a single in the second and Brent Kinsey scored on Espinosa's sacrifice bunt. In the third, Cody Muren had an RBI single and Kinsey doubled in a run.
Huntingdon chipped away at the Panthers' lead. The Hawks tied the game at 5-5 with two unearned runs in the seventh inning off Scherer.
The Panthers finished the game with 11 hits. Shiver, Muren, Kinsey and Lee all had two hits. Muren also scored three runs.
In the championship game, Huntingdon took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. The Panthers came back with three in the bottom of the second to tie the game. The Hawks took the lead for good with three more runs in the third.
LaGrange cut the Huntingdon lead to 6-5 after three innings. But the Hawks outscored the Panthers 11-1 over the next five innings to break the game open. The Panthers scored three runs in the ninth for the 17-9 final.
The Panthers had 17 hits in the game. Muren was a perfect 4-for-4 with four runs scored and an RBI. Kinsey also had four hits, while David Miller, Cameron Eison and Espinosa all had two hits. Miller had a double included in his two hits.
Miller, the Panthers' lone senior, played his final game at Cleaveland Field. He finished the 2012 season batting .322 with a home run and a team-leading 24 RBIs.