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Split ends for Panthers' nine : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Split ends for Panthers' nine
Close calls for Oswego in doubleheader

by Mike Slodki


After Monday's torrential landscape, the Oswego summer baseball team was ready to deal with more pressing matters, namely summer baseball against a close rival.

The high-winds and buckets of rain necessitated a location and time switch of the Oswego-Plainfield South summer league matchup to Jackie's Field of Dreams, and saw the Panthers and Cougars play two close five-inning affairs.

Oswego (6-3-2) dropped the first contest by a 2-0 count, while coming back with a late flurry to stifle the visiting Cougars and veteran coach Phil Bodine by a 4-2 count.

After outfield errors led to two Cougars runners to reach base, Oswego surrendered a run on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the second inning for the lone run of the contest.

Panthers' hurler Marty Maves held the Plainfield South lineup at bay the best he could with four strikeouts to his credit.

"Marty struggled a little bit," Oswego head coach Joe Giarrante said. "He wasn't as sharp as he typically is, but he did a good job of battling. They had somebody on base every inning."

Even with Oswego gathering just two hits in the first game, the last best opportunity to cross the plate came in the top of the fourth inning when Jake Rock and Austin Schlaker drew walks, but the rally ended with a groundout to third.

Tied at 2-2 in Game Two, the Panthers were able to storm ahead in the top of the fifth as Konor Gengler (2-for-3) reached on an error, and was sacrificed to second by Mitch Gwodz. Ensuing batter Jacob Nalley smacked a double, his second to left to bring home the go-ahead run, and came home on a wild pitch for the final margin.

Diego Barocio pitched a perfect 2 1/3 innings of relief for the victory.

The bumps of summer league are made a tad easier when clutch wins come the SPC stalwart's way.

"It's a learning process for us, too," Giarrante said. "It's to get a feel for our team and for what we're going to do next year."

Oswego was set to battle West Aurora on Wednesday in a doubleheader, but results were unavailable at press time. The Panthers will enter the Wood Bat Tournament on Monday, which continues through next Wednesday.

Notes: Last Thursday saw Oswego host Benet Academy in a doubleheader, with the Panthers beating the Redwings 2-1 in Game One behind a two-hit effort from Maves, and 1-0 behind a three-hitter from Barocio.

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