Quick start lifts Panthers past Archers
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 12:00 AM
By Kevin Wannemacher
Parkway’s Austin Adams connects with an Antwerp offering during the Panthers’ 4-1 win on Tuesday night in Rockford. Adams went hitless on the evening. (Times Bulletin/Pat Agler)
Times Bulletin Buiness Manager
ROCKFORD — Parkway took advantage of three Antwerp errors in the first inning to plate three runs and the Panthers went on from there to post a 4-1 victory over the visiting Archers in non-league baseball action.
It was a disappointing start for Antwerp head coach Zac Feasby, who felt the Archers showed improvement otherwise from a loss in their opener.
“We got off to a bad start again and that was the same thing we did last week,” noted the Archer head coach. “I thought, after that first inning, that we did a lot of good things and we showed a lot of improvement. But we have to keep teams off the scoreboard in that first inning and not dig ourselves into a hole.”
Parkway took advantage of a trio of Archer mistakes in the opening frame to grab control.
Cody Depweg reached via an Archer error to start the inning before stealing second on the first pitch to Austin Dennison. After Antwerp pitcher Joe Buerkle got Dennison to fly out, a single by Austin Adams plated Depweg for a 1-0 Panther advantage.
Wyatt Felver was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second before both runners advanced on a passed ball. With one out and runners at second and third, Brandon Gibson reached on an Antwerp error that also plated Adams and moved Felver to third.
Leading 2-0, the Panthers would benefit from another Archer error.
Gibson took off for second before Buerkle’s pitch and the pickoff attempt by the Antwerp hurler sailed into center field, scoring Felver. Gibson then advanced to third and tried to score as the throw got away from Archer third baseman Tyler Messman. However, Messman hustled down the errant throw and tossed a strike to catcher Jeffrey Coleman to nab Gibson at the plate.
The damage was done, though, with Parkway posting a 3-0 lead after one inning.
“We can’t dig holes, like we did again tonight, against good baseball teams,” commented Feasby.
Gibson was the benefactor on the mound for Parkway.
Following a game-opening walk to Justice Clark, the Panther hurler retired ten straight Antwerp hitters before allowing a walk to Trenton Copsey in the fourth.
“Their pitcher did a nice job tonight,” noted Feasby. “We struggled offensively a year ago as well and we did again tonight.”
Messman followed the Copsey walk by reaching on a Parkway error to put runners at first and second for Antwerp with two outs. However, Gibson fanned Coleman to end the Archer threat.
Antwerp did get on the scoreboard in the sixth.
With two outs, Derek Smalley doubled and Copsey followed with a run-scoring single to get the Archers within 3-1.
Gibson then got out of the inning without any further damage as Messman grounded out to short.
Parkway answered in the home half of the sixth.
Adams opened the inning with a walk before Felver was hit by a pitch for the second time on the night. Gibson then reached on a walk as well, ending Buerkle’s night on the hill.
Messman took the hill for the Archers, striking out Hayden Abromovich for the first out. Jensen Riley reached on a fielder’s choice that plated Adams to set the margin at 4-1.
The Archers threatened for the final time in the seventh.
With one out, Matt Reinhart walked and Collin Perry was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. However, Gibson settled down and struck out Buerkle and Michael Taylor end the contest.
“I am pleased with the improvement we saw tonight,” Feasby concluded. “We have to continue to get better.”
Gibson finished the night striking out a dozen Archer hitters while walking three and allowing two hits. Depweg hit a double and Adams added a single for the lone Parkway hits.
Buerkle took the loss, allowing two hits and four walks with two strikeouts in five innings of work.
Smalley, a double, and Copsey, a single, picked up the lone Antwerp hits, both coming in the sixth frame.
Antwerp 000 001 0- 1 2 4
Parkway 300 001 x- 4 2 1