On Friday, April 26, the Purple Panthers would turn their recent late inning misfortunes into a positive note as Litchfield would pile on four runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning. The late inning heroics would move the Purple Panthers past the Southwestern Piasa Birds 8-7 in a South Central Conference contest in Litchfield.
The scoring would come early and often in this contest as either Litchfield or Southwestern would put a run on the board in every inning besides the sixth. Southwestern would get on the board first as they scored in their opening at-bat.
Litchfield would respond as they also would put a run on the board in the bottom half of the first inning. Brady Bishop would lead off the Purple Panthers' half of the first inning with a base hit. A ground out by Jacob Frerichs would move Bishop into scoring position. The ground out would become beneficial during the next at-bat when Billy Beckham would single in Bishop, tying the contest at one run apiece.
In the top of the second inning, Southwestern would break the 1-1 contest as they would score two runs in the inning. The two runs would come off of one hit, two errors and a hit batter as Southwestern held a 3-1 lead after an inning and a half of action.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Purple Panthers would move closer to the Southwestern lead as they added a run to their column. With two outs, Bishop would collect his second hit of the contest with a double. Jacob Frerichs would score Bishop as he would connect on the second two-bag hit of the inning. The Purple Panthers' run would narrow the Piasa Birds' lead to 3-2 after three innings of action.
Again, Southwestern would counter in their half of the fourth inning as they would once again extend on their lead. The Piasa Birds would add two more runs to their total as they would increase the lead to 5-2.
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Purple Panthers would look to inch closer to the Southwestern lead. Nick Braasch would lead off the inning with another Litchfield double that would result in a fielding error.
Cam Frerichs would replace Braasch on the base paths and would end up making the score 5-3 as he would score on a fielding error by Southwestern. Litchfield would get two more runners on the base paths, including Chase Hires, who would eventually reach third after he was awarded first base on a walk. That is as far as Hires would advance as he remained on third base as the inning would expire.
Again as Litchfield narrowed the Southwestern lead, Southwestern would respond in the following inning, increasing their lead to 6-3.
The yo-yo effect would continue as Litchfield would add a run in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Brady Bishop would lead off with his third hit in as many attempts and his second double of the contest. Bishop's success would again set up another run as Jacob Frerichs would collect his second double of the contest to score Bishop for the Purple Panthers' fourth run, narrowing the lead to 6-4 after five innings of action.
After a scoreless sixth inning, the Piasa Birds would make one last push to victory in the seventh as they added another run, giving them an insurance run heading into the final at-bat.
Trailing 7-4, Litchfield would have a tough task ahead of them in their final at-bat. After the first out of the inning, Bishop would reach base safely for the fourth straight time as he would reach on a fielding error by Southwestern. The error would also allow Bishop to move up a base, putting him in scoring position with one out.
The one-two punch of Bishop and Frerichs would strike again as Jacob Frerichs would move Bishop over a base, reaching the base paths with a single. Billy Beckham would ground out for the second out of the inning, but Bishop would score from third and Frerichs moved up to second.
Litchfield would not be done though, as a hit by pitch and a base on balls would load the bases with Purple Panthers.
With two outs and a two-run deficit freshman Blaine Stewart would come to the plate. Stewart would come through as he would put the ball in play and the result would be an error on the Piasa Birds. The error would allow Stewart to reach base safely and both Jacob Frerichs and Nick Braasch to score, squaring the contest at seven runs apiece.
With two outs and a tied ball game, the Purple Panthers would still be threatening to score as Jeremy Frazier remained on second base and Stewart on first base.
Freshman Chase Hires would come through for Litchfield as Hires would single, scoring Frazier from second and giving the Purple Panthers a walk-off victory.
The top of the lineup was the difference in this contest as the top four hitters for Litchfield would each collect a hit.
The one-two punch of leadoff hitter Brady Bishop and second hitter Jacob Frerichs would go 6-for-8 in the contest including four doubles, five runs and two RBIs.
Frazier would get the win in relief for Litchfield, allowing two runs on three hits. Frerichs started the game and allowed
five runs on five hits, with five strikeouts in four innings.
The win would move the Purple Panthers to 4-12 overall and 2-3 in the South Central Conference. Litchfield will have four games this week starting off with a home conference game on Monday against Roxana and then three road games in Staunton on Tuesday, Vandalia Thursday and Greenville on Friday
April 26 at Litchfield
Southwestern 120 210 1 7 8 4
Litchfield 101 110 4 8 9 3
Southwestern IP R ER H K BB
Brown 5 4 3 7 5 1
L-Kelly 2 4 0 2 2 1
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
Frerichs 4 5 3 5 5 2
W-Frazier 3 2 2 3 0 2
Litchfield Batting Statistics
Multiple Hits: Brady Bishop (3-4, 4R), Jacob Frerichs (3-4, 1R, 2RBI). 2B: Jacob Frerichs 2, Brady Bishop 2 Nick Braasch 1.
Records: Southwestern (7-16, 2-4); Litchfield (4-12, 2-4).