Panthers defeat Odessa, win MRVC West title
Jackson Engelhard...slid home ahead of the tag for the third run of the inning on the play. photo by Kory Hales
An Oak Grove win over Odessa May 11 would give the Panthers their third straight MRVC West baseball title. In 2013 Oak Grove shared the crown with Odessa. In 2014 they won it outright, and in 2015 they stand alone on top of the final standings at 7-3 after shutting out the Bulldogs 4-0 at Webb Park.
Panthers wasted little time in seizing control. After Tanner Johnson flew out to center, Josh Lewis reached on a base hit to right. Austin Reader then singled to center. The throw from Kobe Hardin in center missed the cutoff man and rolled into the Panthers' dugout, allowing Lewis and Reader to advance to third and second. Tanner Lowrey laced one over the Odessa second baseman, allowing Lewis to score. Jackson Engelhard ran for Lowrey and scored two batters later. After stealing second, Engelhard followed Reader home on Riley Matson's two-strike, two-out, two-RBI single to right. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Regular season ends in defeat
Oak Grove soccer team could not extend its match win streak to four May 13, losing to the visiting Lady Tigers from Excelsior Springs 2-0. After scoring 13 goals during its three-game winning streak, the Lady Panthers could only record three shots on net in the loss. Excelsior Springs fired 10 shots on goal, scoring in the 28th and 67th minutes.
"It was a tough, hard-fought game," said head coach Michael Brown. "We worked hard and kept up with their physicality. I'm proud of how our girls kept their heads." Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Panthers take down O'Hara
A day after clinching the MRVC West baseball championship, Oak Grove went right back to work between the lines at Webb Park and took down O'Hara 9-3.
Austin Nibarger's RBI single and Riley Matson's RBI groundout scored Josh Lewis and Austin Reader in the bottom of the first for a quick 2-0 lead. Celtics needed one big swing in the top of the third to claim the lead when Carter Halil homered on a 2-2 pitch with runners on first and second.
Lewis scored once again in the bottom of the third to level the game at three before the Panthers took control in the fourth. Tanner Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk to force Quin Schnieders home. Lewis then singled home Jake Hendrix and Zach Hipsher to make it 6-3. Johnson scored on a wild pitch just before Tanner Lowrey drove in Lewis for the final run of the inning. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Panthers win a wild one in eight innings
After Oak Grove lost two games May 9 to rain, the baseball team went in search of another opponent and found one in Lawson. Cardinals had also lost a doubleheader to rain on that Saturday. Both teams agreed to meet in Oak Grove May 13, and on paper it appeared to be quite the matchup. Panthers entered the game 16-7. Lawson was 18-3.
Panthers had the upper hand early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Josh Lewis' solo home run accounted for the first run of the game. Austin Reader and Tanner Lowrey scored later in the frame. After the Cardinals plated a run in the third, Reader pushed the lead back to three when he tagged and scored from third on Lowrey's sac fly to center. Panthers put Lawson in a much tougher spot in the bottom of the fifth when Lewis and Reader scored to make it 6-1.
Lawson began their charge by scoring two runs in the sixth to close to within three. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.