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Panthers edge Dragons in eight innings, 8-7

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — The Chesapeake Panthers kept it close in hopes of stealing a win from the Fairland Dragons.
Pitchers Austin Browning and Travis Grim kept it close and the Panthers stole the win — literally — as they edged the Fairland Dragons 8-7 in eight innings on Monday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
“The key for us is our pitching kept us in the game. Travis came in and did a nice job,” said Panthers’ coach Justin Davis.
“We haven’t been swinging the bats well. We finally started to get aggressive. We started having better at-bats.”
The game was tied at 6 in the top of the eighth with one out.
Trent Dearth then doubled and went to third on a fly ball. After the second out, Austin Browning was safe on an error.
Dearth stayed at third on the play but then he stole home to put the Panthers ahead 7-6.
Browning stole second and Grim followed with an RBI double for what proved to be the winning run.
“We gave (Dearth) the call and he knew what to do. (Assistant coach) Tommy Burcham gave him the go sign. We trust Trent. He’s like a coach on the field,” said Davis.
Fairland (14-6, 10-2) still maintained a one-game lead in the OVC with South Point beating Rock Hill 4-3.
Fairland came back to score a run in the bottom of the eighth and left the tying and winning runs on base.
Gavin Hunt tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dacoda Chapman.
Kyle Rankin and Tucker Adkins walked with two outs and both moved up on a passed ball. But Grim struck out the next batter to end the game.
The Dragons got a run in the first inning when Hunt reached on an error, stole second, took third on a ground out and scored on Alex Rogers’ sacrifice fly.
The Dragons got two runs in the fourth to lead 3-0.
Reilly Sowards singled, stole second and Bryan Defoe singled him home. Defoe moved up on a walk and scored on a ground out by Hunt.
Chesapeake took the lead with four runs in the fifth.
Levi Best walked, stole second and Dearth was safe on an error, Thomas Sentz and Browning walked to force in a run and Grim singled for two runs. Devin Stevens hit into a fielder’s choice for an RBI.
Fairland got three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 6-4 lead.
Adkins walked, Sowards and Defoe singled for a run and Hunt singled in two more runs.
The Panthers came back with two runs in the sixth to tie the game.
Dearth singled with one out and Sentz doubled. Browning walked and Grim had a two-run single.
Chesapeake 000 042 02 = 8 9 3
Fairland 100 230 01 = 7 7 3
Austin Browning, Travis Grim (5) and Jonah Ridenour. Reilly Sowards, Alex Rogers (5) and Bryan Defoe. W-Grim. L-Rogers.