After numerous rainouts, Yazoo County’s Panthers finally returned to the baseball diamond, where they won their first game of the season against J.Z. George on Thursday.
Despite the layoff, the Panthers came out hot.
That was no surprise to Yazoo County baseball coach Corbin Ellis.
“After being off for two weeks it was good to get back on the field and play,” Ellis said. “Playing a district game after a two-week layoff raised some concern, but my kids stepped up like they always do. They realized the importance of the district game and were focused from start to finish despite limited practice and game play due to the recent weather. When you have a group like this that comes to work each day ready to play regardless of the circumstances it makes my job easy.”
In the first inning, the Panthers jumped out to a lead thanks to RBI singles by Cameron Shaffer, Trevor Leal, and Andrew Edwards, and a passed ball allowed Tanner Evilsizor to take home, giving the Panthers a 4-0 lead after the first half inning.
J.Z. George struck back with a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the score to 4-1.
Yazoo County was helped out in the second inning by walks that led to a run, but J.Z. George matched it with a run in the bottom of the inning, making it a 5-2 game.
In the third, Yazoo County struck hard once again. Ben Luckett hit a triple and a delayed steal of third base that led to a J.Z. error that allowed the Panthers to score two more. By the time the third out was recorded, Yazoo County held a 10-2 lead.
The Jaguars pieced together a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the score to 10-3.
The Panthers scored three more in the fourth inning thanks to a Tanner Evilsizor double and a passed ball, giving them a 13-3 lead.
J.Z. George was able to muster a run in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 13-4.
In the sixth inning, Yazoo County put the final touches on their win with three more runs to make the final score 16-4.
The Panthers improved to 1-2 (1-0 in district).
Andrew Edwards went 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Cameron Shaffer went 2-for-3 with two singles, two walks, one RBI and four runs scored.
Ben Luckett went 1-for-4 with a triple, a walk, two RBIs, and a run scored.
Tanner Evilsizor went 2-for-4 with a double, a single, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Peyton Thrasher went 1-for-3 with a single, an RBI, and a run scored.
Trevor Leal went 1-for-2 with a single, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Junior Sidney Burrough started the game for the Panthers and gave them three good innings, giving up three earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts.
Freshman Ethan Hill earned the in relief after giving up one earned run on two hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
According to Ellis, Burrough and Hill are big pieces of his extensive pitching staff this year.
“Ethan and Sid both will be called upon a good bit this year to pitch,” Ellis said. “We have a solid pitching staff that will allow us to rest more arms in between games and stay fresh.”
The Panthers will participate in a Spring Break Tournament at Smith-Wills Stadium on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.