Pinewood Prep drops Game 1 of series with Laurence Manning, 8-4
Pinewood Prep saw its 12-game winning streak end on Tuesday night, dropping an 8-4 decision to Laurence Manning Academy in Game 1 of the best-of-three state semifinal series in the SCISA Class AAA playoffs.
Pinewood Prep will travel to Laurence Manning for game two tonight, needing a win to keep its season alive. The loss dropped Pinewood Prep to 17-6 overall, while the visiting Swampcats improved to 22-5.
“We have to win one game, that’s all,” said Panthers head coach Phil Tobin. “You have to win two to advance, but right now our thoughts have to be on winning one game. We’ve got a good baseball team and we’re capable of winning. We just didn’t bring our best game tonight. We didn’t play as well as we would have hoped, but tomorrow is a new day.”
Pinewood Prep struck for two runs in the first inning off LMA starter Linc Powell, but the Swampcats answered with a four-run third inning, the big blow being a three-run home run off the bat of Thomas Walker.
The Panthers answered in the bottom of the third with solo home runs from Brian Doucet and Hayden Heflin to tie the game but would manage only three hits the rest of the way off Powell, a sophomore who went the distance and threw 130 pitches.
“Tip your hat to their guy, he did a great job,” said Tobin. “He threw his curveball for strikes and kept us off balance.”
Laurence Manning took a 5-4 lead in the fifth on Mark Pipkin’s RBI single, then put the game away with a three-run top of the seventh, chasing Pinewood Prep starter J.D. Waite after 127 pitches. Laurence Manning finished the game with 13 hits.
“J.D. was going on three day’s rest but he pitched well enough tonight to win the game,” said Tobin. “We let a couple of fly balls drop, kicked it around a little. We didn’t give him great support. He was tiring there late but he’s our guy and we just felt with the score 5-4 in the seventh, we had to see how far he could take us.”
Heflin had two hits and two RBI for the Panthers, who finished with seven hits.