CONNORVILLE - Buckeye Local began its 2014 season with an exciting contest against Edison in which coach Rick DeLuca's Panthers lost 5-2.
"We had the play we needed in the fifth inning," DeLuca commented on a play that would have evened the contest at 3 runs apiece. "But the collision at the plate did not go our way"
The inning began with a one-out double by leadoff hitter Chase Hopkins. Hopkins moved to third on a passed ball and DeLuca signaled for the squeeze play. Jared Moore laid down a bunt up the third base side where Edison pitcher Nolan Marcus picked up the slow roller and shoveled it into the glove of catcher Collin Skeeles who was following the ball up the line. Skeeles moved to his left and blocked the base path and the pair collided some two feet up the third base line from the batters box.
Buckeye Local's Chase Hopkins collides with Edison catcher Collin Skeeles and was called out. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
The home plate umpire called Hopkins out for making no attempt to slide and subsequently ejected the Panthers' center fielder for the contact.
The Panthers continued the push and moved runners to second and third with two outs but Marcus fanned Buckeye Local's number four hitter Jonathan Borkoski to end the inning.
"I have to give credit to Nolan for pitching a great game and coach Jim Marcus for calling the pitches," Edison coach Mike Collopy complimented. "Coach Marcus made a great call again in the sixth on the pitch out which we felt was key."
The call came when with one out Zach Kaner was pinch running for Josh Figurski who was playing with an injured ankle. Kaner took off for second base and coach Marcus had anticipated the steal and Skeeles throw caught Kaner short of the bag.
Edison came out in the seventh and got a pair of insurance runs off the bat of designated hitter Collin Scott with bases loaded to seal the first win of the season for the Wildcats.
"We will take the win, but we still need to improve," coach Collopy assessed. "But I thought our bats got better as the game went on."
"We had three errors where balls went past legs," DeLuca commented on the unearned runs that Edison scored in the third to take the lead. "It is fundamentals, you have to keep your glove on the ground."
Skeeles started off the inning for the Wildcats with a single, Austin Horan drew a walk off and then an error loaded the bases. Buckeye pitcher Borkoski would plunk the opposing pitcher Marcus to give Edison its first run. A second error plated two more runs before Borkoski recovered to whiff the next batter on three straight. A fly ball to right ended the inning but it was 3-1 Edison.
Borkoski had led off the second inning for Buckeye with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Panepucci where Dean Rose's RBI single plated the first run for the home team.
Panepucci scored in the fourth to account for the Panthers' other run. After reaching on a strike three passed ball error. Figurski moved him to second and a second passed ball allowed Panepucci to move to third where a second error moved him the final 90 feet for the unearned run.
Nolan Marcus earned the win allowing 1 earned run in seven complete, giving up 6 hits, no walks and striking out 12 batters.
Borkoski was saddled with the loss, allowing five hits, issuing six walks and striking out six batters.
Edison 003 000 2 5 5 2
Buckeye 010 100 0 2 6 3
BATTERIES : Marcus and Skeeles. Borkoski and Sebring.