Rough Inning Dooms Panthers on Senior Night

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Even though the night didn’t end the way they hoped, Senior Night was a special one for the Paschal Panthers.
A 7-run sixth inning from Arlington Bowie (6-12, 4-9 Dist. 4-6A) spoiled a happy ending for Paschal (11-11, 7-6 Dist. 4-6A) as the Volunteers beat the Panthers 8-6 Wednesday evening.
Senior Night began with a traditional ceremony as each graduating senior on the varsity team was escorted on to the field by his parents. The stands were packed with applauding fans as every senior’s name was called over the PA system. Paschal Head Coach Darrell Preston said he was proud of what his graduating players have accomplished.
“I hate to see them go,” Preston said. “They’ve put in a lot of effort over the last four years.”
Preston said it was sad his team wasn’t able to send out the seniors on a good note. He said in a perfect world his team would have won the game, but that’s just not the way baseball works.
“It’s very hard to win baseball games and it’s a hard game to play,” Preston said. “So many things have to go right for you to win and that didn’t happen for us tonight.”
When the ceremony ended and the game began, things started well for the Panthers. Freshman second baseman Marc Zamara knocked in a run in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. After the Volunteers tied the game in the third, Paschal scored five runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-1 lead.
Paschal loaded the bases in the fourth against Bowie starting pitcher Rafeal Uriegas. When the Volunteers brought in a reliever from the bullpen, the Panthers drew three straight walks to score runs. Junior Sergio Conchas singled home two runs to finish the scoring.
Preston said the Panthers could only blame themselves for the lack of scoring after that inning.
“I’ll give the kid out of their bullpen credit for throwing the ball over the plate,” Preston said. “But when a guy is not throwing with a lot of velocity like he was, you have to wait for the ball to get to you and we just get chasing and chasing it.”
Starting Paschal pitcher Drew Medford (2-0) did not factor into the decision. The junior cruised through five innings by only allowing one run, but was lit up for four runs and recorded just one out in the sixth inning. Reliever Ben Ayala wasn’t able to limit the damage as he allowed three more runs.
“Drew just kind of lost control,” Preston said. “For the most part he threw well but just one bad inning got to him. You can’t keep giving them chances or it will come around to bite you.”
Preston said that despite the disappointing end to Senior Night, he told his team to keep their heads up going into the last game Friday night.
“I told him that I know it hurts right now,” Preston said. “But if you go get a win on Friday against Arlington High and get yourself into the playoffs, then you aren’t even going to remember this one when it is all said and done.”