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Panthers fall in extras to No. 1 Logan-Rogersville

Mountain Grove drops instant classic; beats Liberty to get one step closer to SCA crown


Heading into their Wednesday road match-up with Logan-Rogersville, the No. 1 team in Class 4 and the likely No. 1 seed in the upcoming District 10 tournament, Mountain Grove’s baseball team knew they had to play a near perfect ball game if they were going to upset the Wildcats.

After all, Logan-Rogersville entered the game on a nine game winning streak where they outscored their opponents, 91-18.

Mountain Grove responded to the challenge by playing perhaps their best game of the season. Unfortunately, the Wildcats scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Panthers, 13-12, in one of the best games played in the entire state of Missouri this season.

Through four innings, Logan-Rogersville was in control with an 8-1 lead.

That is when the Panthers began to get to pitcher Curry Southerland, who has committed to Missouri State University.

The Panthers would score six runs in the top half of the fifth inning to cut the lead to 8-7.

After the Wildcats added an insurance run, Carson Allen responded with a two-RBI double during the Panthers’ four-run sixth inning to go up 11-9.

Logan-Rogersville would answer with two runs in the bottom half of the inning tying the game at 11-11.

They were unable to score more runs due to the pitching of Dom Palagi and an incredible acrobatic catch by third baseman Gatlin Keeling in foul territory near the bullpen.

After failing to do anything offensively in the top of the seventh inning, the Panthers’ defense continued to flash their leather. Centerfielder Brayden Haughey chased down two straight fly balls to center field and made incredible catches.

Rightfielder Destin Unger caught the last out as both teams went three up and three down.

Allen struck again in the eighth inning as his RBI single scored Keeling to give Mountain Grove a 12-11 edge.

Logan-Rogersville thought they tied the game up early in the bottom of the eighth when a batter launched a home run over the left field fence. But while he was celebrating, he jumped over the first base bag. It was checked by the Panthers’ defense and the umpire called the hitter out.

The Wildcats still answered though with two runs to walk off a winner.

Keeling led the Panthers with three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored while Allen had three hits, three RBIs and one run scored.

Brylon Mayberry had three hits, one RBI and scored twice; Hoyt Mathews had three hits and two RBIs; Kaden Richardson added two RBIs; Garrett Hutsell scored twice; while Drew Vaughan, Haughey and Palagi each scored one run.

Mayberry went two innings on the mound and allowed six earned runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk with one home run allowed.

Preston Williams tossed one inning and allowed two earned runs on two hits with one strikeout and one walk.

Palagi came up big with four and two-thirds innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits with one strikeout and two walks.

Aaron Durney allowed0 one walk before the game came to an end.

The Panthers started their week by moving one step closed to a second straight South Central Association (SCA) Conference title when they knocked off Liberty (Mountain View), 10-0. If they defeat Salem in their final SCA contest of the season, the Panthers will complete back-to-back undefeated seasons in the SCA.

Against the Eagles, the Panthers scored three runs in the first and four in the third to pull away for the win.

Mathews hit a solo home run and had two RBIs and one run scored; Mayberry added two RBIs; both Vaughan and Keeling had three hits, two RBIs and one run scored; Allen and Hutsell had one RBI and one run scored; Haughey and Palagi both scored twice; while Unger scored one run.

Against Lighthouse Christian on Tuesday, the Panthers needed a four run bottom of the sixth inning to complete a rally for a 6-4 win over the Chargers.

Vaughan had one RBI and one run scored; both Richardson and Mathews had one RBI; while Unger, Hutsell, Palagi, Williams and Mayberry each scored one run.

On the mound, Haughey tossed four innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks..

Richardson tossed three innings of shutout, no-hit ball. He also had three strikeouts and three walks.

The Panthers ended their week with three more wins to move their overall record to 20-7 on the  season.

Mountain Grove beat Van Buren, 9-2, on the Panthers’ home diamond on Friday. They then traveled to Fair Grove on Saturday to win a doubleheader. They defeated Springfield Central 10-0. They then held off a late Fair Grove rally to beat the Eagles, 11-10.

(No statistics were made available by press time for the last three games of the week.)