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Tournaments  | Story  | 6/10/2023

Panthers' Defense Dominates in Opener

Riley Sheppard     
Florida Panthers 16U were led by strong pitching and defense in their first Perfect Game appearance of the summer on Friday. 

“Just getting strike one, getting the first guy,” Panthers head coach Greg Jones said. “And we got a pretty good defense behind [Nick Townley] and he trusts that, so getting strike one and then those guys' defensive plays really helped him.”

Townley, a right-hander in the Class of 2026, tossed a strong six innings to propel the Panthers to a 7-1 victory over Blackjack Baseball 16U. Over his 82 pitches, the rising sophomore struck out seven - including five over the first two innings - before Bo Allen came on in the final frame to close things out. 

“He threw the ball really well,” Jones said. “Didn’t walk many guys, just very efficient. I thought that was the key for him getting the first guy out pretty much every inning.”

The Panthers first run of the game came from Connor Fulmino after the center fielder was hit by a pitch and stole consecutive bases. 

Following three innings of a 1-0 game, the Panthers tacked on six runs over the final four innings including three in the top of the seventh. Wyatt Patterson led the way with three RBI, including an extra base knock to drive in Landon Parsons in the fifth, with three other Panthers contributing in the scoring department - Urban Ellis (2), Allen and Desan DeCamp

Jones and his club are back in action with a pair of games on Saturday, before closing out their pool play slate on Sunday against 1st Round Pro. 

“Just continue to do the same thing,” Jones said. “Stay aggressive at the plate and stay aggressive on the mound. I think when you're playing summer ball that's the key for these kids, is being aggressive so they can go out there and have successes and failures to learn from.”

The Panthers take on Top Tier Gryphons 2025 at Terry Park Sports Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 10:15 a.m.