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‘Edge of your seat’ victory

Tournaments : : Story
Sam Brazenas        
Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013

MARIETTA, Ga. – After battling back and forth with Marucci Elite 15u on Wednesday, the South Charlotte Panthers came out victorious after a rally in the fifth inning, scoring four runs.

We were down early in this game and (the kids) just kept battling and battling and we’re fortunate to come out with a win today over a great team, Marucci.” said head coach Empsy Thompson.

The Panthers were down by three going into the fifth inning, but singles from Jake Holtzapple and Ike Freeman, and doubles from Bailey Meeks and Jay Zarate helped them score four runs to take the lead.

You’re on the edge of your seat; it’s exciting and this is why we come to do it,” said Thompson.

The guys who really did a great job were the guys who finished on the mound, Bailey Meeks and Nick Bruno.”

Meeks pitched 3 1/3 innings only allowing two runs. Bruno came in to record the last two outs of the last inning. He walked the first batter then struck out the next two batters to win the game.

The Panthers also played flawlessly on defense, making no errors.

Obviously there’s 16 kids in the dugout and they all played a role in today’s game,” explained Thompson, “They all played very well.”

Thompson mentioned Freeman, Holtzapple and Luke Robinson as his top prospects. Freeman has hit seven doubles this tournament and has eight RBI. Holtzapple is hitting .533 in this tournament and has only made one error in the field. Robinson is leading the team in home runs with two.

Those kids have done a tremendous job in this tournament,” explained Thompson.

Thompson said Bruno is “definitely a (top prospect) from the pitchers perspective.” Bruno has yet to give up a run in his 9 2/3 innings on the mound, and has struck 10 batters out.

I think our goal is just like everybody else that comes here with the first goal (being) winning your pool and advancing to the playoffs,” explained Thompson

The Panthers will now advance to the second round of the playoffs and will face the Dulin Dodgers 15u today at the East Cobb Baseball Complex.

We’ll take it one pitch at a time and we’ll see what happens,” said Thompson, “(We’re) hoping to play in that last game.”

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