A late rally by Sylvan Hills’ junior American Legion team gave Pangburn a scare, but the visiting Rayburn Sports squad’s three-run sixth inning was enough of a cushion to outlast the Bruins 5-3 on Monday at the Sherwood Sports Complex.
Skylar Litaker earned the win on the mound for Pangburn (3-2) as he threw all seven innings and kept the Bruins’ lineup at bay for the majority of the game, but had moments where he struggled in the first and final inning.
“I’ve got a couple of older guys but that’s their high school varsity team,” said Bruins coach Matt Presson of Pangburn. “That was their number one guy (Litaker). He threw it pretty good. It didn’t seem like we were hitting his fastball well and we had a lotof strikeouts. We didn’t put the ball in play a lot and didn’t put as much pressure on him as I’d like to.”
Jacob Riggs scored the first run of the game in the first inning to put Sylvan Hills (0-1) ahead 1-0, but Pangburn answered its next at bat with two more runs to take a 2-1 lead. That was the score until the top of the sixth.
Rayburn Sports’ three-hole hitter Sidney Owens led off the sixth with a single to the left-field gap off of Riggs, and he scored the next at bat thanks to a line-drive double to left-centerfield by Litaker.
Carson Sanders came in to relieve Riggs after Owens’ run and he retired the next two batters. But Pangburn second baseman Hunter Poe came through for the visiting team with a two-out single to right-centerfield, which allowed Litaker to score with ease.
The final run for Pangburn came the next at bat when catcher Alec Bourgieos drove in Poe with a stand-up double to deep right-centerfield, which put the Rayburn Sports squad up 5-1. Sylvan Hills failed to get anything going its next at bat, but the Bruins did what they could to make the visiting team sweat in the seventh and final inning.
Two walks and a single by Riggs in the bottom of the seventh inning loaded the bases for Sylvan Hills as cleanup hitter Derrick Fowler came to the plate. With two outs, Fowler came through with a hard-hit single to left field that allowed two runs to score, which cut Pangburn’s lead to 5-3.
With runners at first and second base, Dawson Heslep came to the plate, representing the winning run, and he got the bat on the ball, but got a little too far underneath it as he popped out to right field to end the game.
“With this being our first game and first live pitching, you could tell the rust was there,” Presson said. “There were a couple of errors. I wasn’t too upset about the errors, but there were a couple that costs us – a double-play ball we should’ve had, and an error at short that cost us a run or two. But 5-3 against a varsity team, I’m not too mad about that.”
The Bruins will try and get their first win of the summer at Cabot at 6 p.m. tomorrow in a doubleheader.