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Smith's blast helps lift Panthers over Littleton

Jackson Smith touches home after blasting a two-run homer off of Littleton ace Nick Walsh. James Barrett. (click for larger version)
April 28, 2014
LITTLETON — The Littleton Crusader baseball team finally made it onto the diamond for the first time in 2014 on Monday, April 21. Unfortunately for them, the Lisbon Panthers won in decisive fashion, as they were able to capitalize off Crusader mishaps and a mediocre starting performance by Nick Walsh.

In the first inning, the Crusaders showed some "first game jitters" as head coach A.J. Bray phrased it. The Crusaders' young defense committed two of their three errors in the first inning, which led to a long inning's work for their ace, Walsh. The Panthers plated three runs in the first inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. To make matters worse, the pressure of the rough start looked as though it was taking its toll on Walsh. Walsh suffered a bit with his control early on and those difficulties rolled over to the second inning.

In the second inning, the Panthers continued to pour on the pressure. With a runner on base and no outs in the inning, Lisbon slugger Jackson Smith crushed a curveball that was left up in the zone. The ball soared deep into left-center field and into the parking lot as it ricocheted around off of vehicles. Smith's blast was all the Panthers would need for run support.

Walsh eventually settled down for the Crusaders and pitched five innings. In the sixth, Tyler Brown came into the game. Brown was an absolute force on the hill as he struck out every batter that opposed him, including the top three batters in the Panther batting order.

Gavin Cook was a spark plug for the Crusaders. Cook went 2-2 and walked twice. Nick Bray and Mike Miller each had one run batted in. Unfortunately, that was all that the Crusaders could muster primarily due to the outstanding pitching performances by Lisbon's ace, Dylan Blowey and reliever Kyle Lyndes. The two combined for 10 strikeouts and Blowey shined in his start using his off-speed pitched to keep the Crusader hitters off balance.

With the win the Lisbon Panthers moved to 2-0 on the season and are looking sharp in the beginning stages of the season. However, Blowey has had both starts for the Panthers so far so starting depth has yet to be tested.

WP: Dylan Blowey LP: Nick Walsh S: Kyle Lyndes

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
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