Panther baseball wins 4 straight
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Coach Lou Kendall's Russellville Panthers followed up their win over Franklin-Simpson earlier in the week by winning three games in 24 hours at Kelly Russell Field this weekend.
On Tuesday the Panthers beat Franklin-Simpson 4-3. The Panthers were on the verge of taking a big lead in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with no outs. F-S pitching came through, though, striking out three straight Panthers to end the threat.

In the seventh, Dudley Bouldin blooped the winning hit over third base, scoring D.J. Quarles, who had singled, stolen second and advanced on a wild pitch with two outs. Darren Murphy pitched a 4-hitter and singled in Quarles for a run. Earlier catcher Seth Washington had homered, and he also scored from first on a double by Quarles. Also contributing to the win were Layton Bush, Barrett Croslin, Brian Harris, Thomas Shifflett, Caleb Wills and D.J. Watkins.

Friday, sophomore Caleb Wills pitched a four-hit shutout over West Creek, a new Tennessee school which has students from Clarksville Northeast, Clarksville Northwest and Kenwood high schools. Adding to his special day, Wills hit a two-run homer, driving in Bouldin who had singled. Additionally Watkins doubled while Shifflett, Quarles and Murphy each got a hit.

Rain kept some of the games planned for Saturday from being played, but Carlisle County had come a long distance and spent the night Friday. The Comets have won their district the last three years, coached by Jesse Wright, a former Panther star baseball player and a starter on Russellville's first-ever regional champion basketball team in 1998. His baseball coach was, of course, Kendall. The teams agreed to play two five-inning games Saturday afternoon after the field had dried sufficiently..

"They had played Paducah Tilghman 11 innings Thursday night and used a lot of their pitching innings," Kendall notes.

Shifflett pitched the opening 10-6 win for the Panthers. He struck out seven and gave up six hits, but walked seven. Bouldin had two hits, including 2-RBI single. Also getting two hits each were Murphy and Bouldin. Harris stroked a 2-RBI double. Shifflett, Murphy, Bouldin and Wills scored two runs each.

The Panthers won the nightcap 11-6. Kendall wanted to give Murphy some work on the mound and pre-determined that he would throw about 40 pitches. He needed 43 pitching in two innings, striking out three and giving up just one earned run.

Eighth grader Corey Wright got valuable experience, pitching the final three innings. Besides giving up two runs on a two-out walk and a home run, he did a good job, Kendall said. As a batter, Kendall had Wright watching for early fastballs, and he responded by getting two hits in the win.

Also getting two hits each were Andre Edmonds and Washington, who hit a 2-run homer. Bouldin got three RBIs on a 2-run double and a groundout. Shifflett also doubled.

Batting for the first time in a varsity game were Zach Denney, Tyler Hall, Travis Kennedy and Crewston Kemp. Eighth grader Croslin continues to start at second with Bouldin as his designated hitter.

The Panthers, who are tied with Todd Central (a 2-1 winner over Logan County last Tuesday) for leadership in 13th District standings, will entertain the Cougars at Kelly Russell Field Tuesday. The JV game will start at 4:30 and the varsity will follow. Logan got its first win of the season in a big way Friday, crushing Hart County 17-0.

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