On the heels of last Friday's win over Southwestern, the Purple Panthers would pick up their first back-to-back wins of the season on Monday when Litchfield knocked off Roxana 5-4 in a South Central Conference contest in Litchfield.
Litchfield would use early run production to jump out ahead of Roxana and would hold on for the victory as the Shells would use a late inning push to crawl back into the contest.
The Purple Panthers would strike first as they would grab the first run of the ball game in the bottom half of the opening inning. Brady Bishop would get the action going in the Purple Panthers' half of the first with a base on balls. Bishop, who stole second, would quickly find himself standing on third base when Jacob Frerichs would move him over with a base hit. Billy Beckham would follow with a base on balls, loading the bases with no outs.
With their backs against the wall in the opening inning, the Shells would look for a break. During the next at-bat, Bishop would give the Purple Panthers a 1-0 lead when he touched home plate.
The ball that was put into play, though, would result in a double play as the Purple Panthers would now have a runner on third base with two outs. A final strike out would close out the inning as Litchfield would lead early 1-0.
In the bottom half of the second inning, the Purple Panthers would add to their total. After the first out was recorded, Chase Hires would give the Purple Panthers a base runner with a single. During the next at-bat, Hires would move over to second base on a passed ball and would find himself on third base during the next at-bat with a stolen base.
As Hires would scoot around the base paths, the Shells would record the second out of the inning with a strike out. With Hires on third base and two outs, the Purple Panthers would make sure they would not lose out on a scoring opportunity, as Caleb Jurgena would single in Hires to give the Purple Panthers a 2-0 lead.
Brady Bishop would follow with a base hit but during the play, Jurgena would be tagged out as he looked to extend the lead.
In the top half of the third inning, the Shells would claim a run, narrowing the Litchfield lead to 2-1. Litchfield would respond in their half of the inning, as they would add two more runs to their total.
Jacob Frerichs would lead off the inning with his second single in as many attempts. Following Frerichs' hit, Billy Beckham would help himself out on the mound, as he would connect on a home run to plate two more runs and give the Purple Panthers a 4-1 lead after three innings of action.
In the driver's seat, the Purple Panthers looked to be in control of the contest and on their way to their third South Central Conference victory. In the top half of the fifth inning, the Shells would make the contest interesting, as they would add three runs to their total to tie the game at 4-4.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Purple Panthers would respond. Beckham would once again find himself on the base paths as he would lead off the inning by being hit by a pitch. Nick Braasch would follow Beckham as he would also reach base on a base on balls. With Beckham on second base and Braasch on first, Jeremy Frazier would sacrifice his at-bat to move both runners up one base.
The play would be a success as Blaine Stewart would follow with a base hit, allowing Beckham to touch home plate and give the Purple Panthers a 5-4 lead. Litchfield hoped Stewart's RBI would be the winning run as they would enter the final two innings with a 5-4 lead.
In the top half of the sixth inning, the Shells would threaten the Litchfield lead as they would load the bases with two outs. The threat would remove Litchfield's starting pitcher Billy Beckham from the bump, with Blaine Stewart taking over. Stewart would shut down the first batter he would see, expiring the inning.
After a scoreless bottom of the sixth, Stewart shut out the Shells in their late bid to grab a victory as Litchfield picked up their second straight win.
The 5-4 victory would move the Purple Panthers to 5-12 overall and 3-4 in the South Central Conference. The Purple Panthers will now battle the rain in hopes to get their final games in this week, as they travel to Vandalia on Thursday and Greenville on Friday.
April 29 at Litchfield
Roxana 001 030 0 4 4 0
Litchfield 112 010 x 5 8 2
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
W-Beckham 5.2 4 1 4 10 3
Stewart 1.1 0 0 0 0 0
Litchfield Batting Statistics
Multiple Hits: Jacob Frerichs (2-3, 1R), Blaine Stewart (2-3, 1RBI). 2B: Litchfield - Blaine Stewart 1. HR: Billy Beckham 1.
Records: Roxana (7-13, 2-5); Litchfield (5-12, 3-4).