Panthers sweep Ansonia Tigers

LEWISBURG – The visiting Ansonia baseball team and the Lady Tigers softball team were swept by the host Tri-County North Panthers. The Lady Tigers team made a fight of it, but went down 12-2.

The baseball team could not make any head way against the second place TCN team and were manhandled 23-0.

North’s Lady Panthers got a lead early and were up 4-0 at one point. K Singer drove in the first Lady Tigers run, driving in A Noggler on a double in the second inning. Ansonia could not keep pace with North – allowing too many errors that scored runs while the Lady Panthers pitching held the Ansonia girls at bay.

“North hit the ball well on us today,” said Lady Tigers coach Floyd Jenkins. “We made a few mistakes and they took advantage of us. We start four freshman. We had a chance to make it a closer game, but we could not get the timely hits.”

A bright spot on an otherwise bleak day was freshman Kensie Singer who was 2-2 from the plate and fielded her position well.

“Singer is a freshman who has not played for a couple of years,” Jenkins noted. “We played her at second base and also have played her at third. She is a good kid and plays wherever you want her to play.”

The Tigers baseball team was behind the eight ball from the beginning. North bats struck early and often as they hit off of not one, not two, but a total of four Ansonia pitchers.

“It was a really tough night for our team,” said Ansonia coach Zach Evers. “North is one of the top teams in the league and they are tough. We struggled offensively. We couldn’t get anything going at the plate and we struggled to make plays.”

“We went through four pitchers today,” Evers added. “That makes it hard for the rest of the week. We play South on Thursday and Fairlawn on Saturday. So that makes it tough on us.”

In this age of pitch counts, it does not bode well for a team to go deep into their bullpen early in the week but the Tigers were simply not getting outs and it wasn’t always on the pitching as the other eight players had their share of errors. Giving a strong team extra outs is a recipe for a long night.

Connors Schmit, Peyton Beam, and Jacob Longenecker all pitched in relief. Peyton Beam had a memorable stint taking the mound in the fourth inning with a gimpy leg, but managed to pitch well initially – retiring the rest of the side. In the fifth inning he made a play on a foul ball for an out, but the momentum took him into the dugout where he slipped on the concrete and went right into the bench.

Beam gamely went back out to the mound but had to be pulled a few batters later. The coach was overheard remarking “You can’t tell when he’s hurt, he could take a punch from Mike Tyson and he’d shrug it off and say I’m ready to go coach.”

Ansonia managed to get runners on base nearly every inning, but could not bring them around. Ethan Hemmerich reached base on an error and got all the way to third base thanks to alert base running, but did not get a hit to bring him home. That was the closest that the Tigers would get to scoring.

“We have a young team and it is tough for these freshmen to compete,” concluded Evers. “We don’t have a JV and just don’t have the depth as some of the larger schools. The freshmen get thrown into the deep end and it is sink or swim. You just hope that they can step up and make plays.”

Connor Schmit pitches for the Ansonia Tigers baseball team in a game at Tri-County North. Schmit pitches for the Ansonia Tigers baseball team in a game at Tri-County North.

Ansonia coach Floyd Jenkins looks on as his Lady Tigers play the TCN Lady Panthers on the road. coach Floyd Jenkins looks on as his Lady Tigers play the TCN Lady Panthers on the road.

By J. Chris Tilton

Greenville Daily Advocate