After winning their last two games, the Litchfield Purple Panthers would look to continue that win streak on Friday, May 3, against the South Central Conference leading Greenville Comets.
The Comets would put on a show for the home crowd, scoring a run in every inning as they would short-game the Purple Panthers, claiming a 10-0 victory in five innings.
In the opening inning, the Purple Panthers would get their leadoff batter on the base paths as Brady Bishop would single in the first at-bat of the game. Following a strikeout, Billy Beckham would single, moving Bishop over to second, as Litchfield would be threatening in the opening inning.
Two quick outs recorded by the Comets, though, would leave both Purple Panthers on the base paths as Greenville would escape the early inning threat.
In the Comets' half of the first inning, Greenville would put two runs on the board, giving them an early 2-0 lead. Two base hits and an error were all the Comets needed to claim the two runs.
After the Comets made the score 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning, the Purple Panthers would once again give the scoreboard a threat in the top of the third inning.
Brady Bishop would once again reach base in the leadoff position, this time on a base on balls. And once again, Billy Beckham would move Bishop over into a scoring threat position as Beckham claimed the second walk of the inning.
With runners on first and second with one out, the Purple Panthers would look to put their first run of the contest on the board. The Comets' pitching and defense would end the scoring threat as they would shut down the next two Purple Panther batters, leaving both Bishop and Beckham stranded on the base paths for the second time in the contest.
Again, the Comets would add a run to their total in the bottom of the third inning, with two hits resulting in the run. After a quick top of the fourth inning, the Comets would expand their lead once again in their half of the fourth inning. This would be the fourth inning in a row that the Comets would add a run to the board.
This time the Comets would add four runs as they would connect on four hits in the inning. The big inning for the Comets would push the Purple Panthers' starter, Jacob Frerichs, off the bump as he would give up seven runs, four earned, off of six hits in three and a third innings pitched. Frerichs would also strike out five batters, but would struggle to get the support on the offensive side. Clayton Walch would replace Frerichs on the mound to finish out the ball game.
Trailing by eight runs, the Purple Panthers would need to get things rolling in the top half of the fifth inning. After the first out was recorded, Brady Bishop would once again reach with a base on balls. Bishop would not remain on the base paths for long as he would be tagged for the second out of the inning when Blake Rentz hit into a fielder's choice.
Billy Beckham would follow Rentz by putting the ball in play. The hit ball would result in a fielding error by the Comets, allowing Beckham to reach base safely and Rentz to move to third base.
With runners on the corners, the Purple Panthers would once again be in scoring position. But a quick strikeout would retire the Purple Panthers again with runners in scoring position.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning the Comets would add two more runs to the board to give them the needed ten-run lead to end the contest.
The loss would end the Purple Panthers' two-game win streak and would drop them to 5-13 overall and 3-5 in the South Central Conference.
Litchfield will host Vandalia on Monday, May 6, in a conference game and Hillsboro on Tuesday, May 7, in a non-conference contest, before hosting East Alton-Wood River on Wednesday.
May 3 at Greenville
Litchfield 000 00 0 2 3
Greenville 211 42 10 11 1
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
L-Frerichs 3.1 7 4 6 5 1
Walch 1 3 3 5 1 2
Greenville IP R ER H K BB
W-Gray 5 0 0 2 7 4
Multiple Hits: Greenville - Barnes (3-4), Frey (2-3), Doll (2-3), McCulish (2-3). 2B: Greenville - Frey 1.
Records: Litchfield (5-13, 3-5); Greenville (15-6, 8-0).