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First win in the books as Panthers heat up

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

MA's Scott Harrington tosses a pitch in the sixth inning of the Panthers' 8-7 loss to Sunapee on May 13. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
May 20, 2014
MOULTONBOROUGH Two days after nearly pulling off their first win of the season, the Moultonborough Academy baseball team made sure of it on Friday.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Zach Atwell's fly ball to left field dropped in for an error, allowing Andrew Porusta to come around for the game-winning run in a wild 10-9 victory over Woodsville in Division IV action.

The visiting Engineers took a 9-8 lead with a run in the top of the ninth, though Porusta tied things when he drove in Riley Swedberg with an RBI single to make it 9-9. Porusta would steal second and ultimately score on Atwell's ball for the win.

Porusta was one of five Panthers with two hits in the game, joining James Orkins, Atwell, TJ Marchand and Chris Taylor. Porusta and Marchand totaled three RBI, while Atwell (two) and Scott Harrington (one) also registered RBI.

Marchand's three-run home run over the left field fence in the sixth inning helped bring the Panthers back, as the squad trailed 8-4 and ultimately tied the game to force extras.

Harrington came on in relief of Cullen Downing to earn the victory on the mound, as the right-hander allowed just two hits and one run in five innings of action.

It was nearly a huge upset pulled off by the Panthers on May 13, as visiting Sunapee managed to escape town with an 8-7 win.

MA trailed 8-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning against a team that entered with a sterling 7-2 record in Division IV. But the Panthers battled back, as Swedberg led off with a double and Porusta followed with a walk. Matt Tolman reached to load the bases with no outs, and Swedberg scored on a sacrifice fly by Harrington to cut the lead to 8-4. Sunapee looked like it was going to get out of the inning without further damage being inflicted, but with two outs, Atwell drilled a three-run home run over the fence in right center field to bring the hosts within 8-7.

Harrington did the job on the mound for the next two innings out of the bullpen, as the senior right-hander held Sunapee scoreless in the sixth and seventh, setting up one final rally in the bottom of the seventh. Harrington drilled a base hit to right field with two outs in the seventh, and Aaron Davis walked to put the tying and go ahead runs on base. That set the stage for Atwell, who ripped a line drive that was caught by a diving first baseman, allowing the Lakers to hold on for the 8-7 victory.

Davis and Atwell finished with two hits apiece in the loss for the Panthers. Atwell took the loss on the hill, as he tossed three innings before giving way to Swedberg (1.0 inning) and Harrington (3.0 innings).

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