Panthers battle Amelia plus wind, drop 15-1 decision
A combination of Amelia bats and strong, gusty winds played havoc with Charles City’s defense as the teams squared off in non-district baseball last Thursday. The visiting Raiders pounded 13 hits, several on fly balls that got caught in the wind, and claimed a 15-1 win in a five-inning affair.
The result dropped the host Panthers to 0-2, but head coach Irving Bradby has faith that his relatively young team will improve.
“We’ve got a lot of ninth and 10th graders and a few upper classmen,” he said. “Hopefully, this will be a great learning experience for our team. Hopefully, they’ll stick together and as long as they do that, we’ll be fine.”
Charles City starting pitcher Roger Williams bounced a pitch off leadoff hitter Nick Bartley to start the game. Then the wind, blowing in from right field, became a factor.
The second batter, Jeff Combs, lofted what on any other day would have been a routine fly ball to right. But a gust caught the drive, blowing the ball back toward the infield and away from outfielder Dustin Holmes who came charging in from right. The ball fell in for a single, putting Raiders at first and third.
Williams struck out the next two batters, but Will Jones lined a double just under Holmes’ glove to drive in the Raiders’ first two runs.
Charles City had the makings of a rally in the bottom of the first as Robert Adkins and Evan Adkins poked back-to-back singles off Bartley on the mound. The comeback was cut short, however, as Jonathan Abbott lined out to third baseman Hunter Hastings and Robert Adkins was caught too far off the bag at second for a double play, the first of two turned by the Raiders.
The hosts had another scoring opportunity after Kenneth Miles led off the Panther second with a single, but Bartley struck out the next three batters to end the frame.
Amelia then broke open the game in the third. Six hits led to seven runs and a 9-0 lead. The Raiders added four more in the fourth to up the advantage to 13-0.
Charles City got its lone run in the fourth after Abbott stroked a leadoff double into left field. An errant pickoff attempt moved Abbott to third from where he scored on Miles’ sacrifice fly to left.
Charles City managed five hits off Bartley who went the distance, striking out seven.