June 16, 2024

Panthers take over game in 6th

DATELINE –

GREENFIELD- The Creston Panthers took advantage of several opportunities in the sixth inning to take the lead and eventual 8-2 win Thursday at Nodaway Valley.

Trailing 2-1 entering the sixth, the Panthers were able to move baserunners and get walks. Creston’s Jack Walter’s RBI single tied the game at 2 bringing home Sam Henry. Henry got on base with a walk and advanced to third from Dylan Hoepker’s double. Hoepker’s run gave Creston a 3-2 advantage from a passed ball.

The Panthers were not done.

McCoy Haines and Milo Staver each drew walks loading the bases. Kyle Strider’s double scored two runs to give Creston a 5-2 lead. Cael Turner’s RBI brought in another to finish the scoring that inning. Strider finished the game with two hits and a stolen base. Creston finished the game with five hits.

“Our MO on offense is to apply pressure,” said Creston coach Brandon Phipps. “We continuously apply pressure and the pipe burst. We were able to produce some runs.”

Creston started the scoring in the second inning. Haines got on a base with a walk and stole second and third base. He scored on a passed ball. That was a change of pace in the inning as it started with Quinten Fuller hitting a single to center. Fuller was eventually tagged out at first base.

The Wolverines took the lead in their half of the third innings. Dawson Nelson drew a walk and Tyson Ross was hit by a pitch. Boston Devault’s single loaded the bases. Paul Berg’s two RBI double gave Nodaway Valley a 2-1 lead.

“The Devault kid is a really good player. I have total respect for that player,” Phipps said.

Phipps said he was pleased with how his team responded despite giving up the two runs. Eli Harris started Nodaway Valley’s third inning with a line drive out to short. After the two runs, the Panthers had routine outs.

“We have to minimize damage,” Phipps said. “We were in a stick situation but we minimized it.”

Staver hit a RBI in the seventh inning.

Creston starting pitcher Parker Varner was replaced in the fourth ith Thomas Mikkelsen who Phipps said did a nice job to finish the game. He threw three and one-third innings and struck out seven. At the plate, Creston drew 10 walks and had nine strikeouts.

Nodaway Valley drops to 0-2.

Creston (3-0) host Martensdale-St. Marys at 7:30 p.m. tonight. On Monday, Creston plays 7:30 p.m. at Indianola.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.