July 18, 2024

Panthers split with Monarchs in substate preview

Senior third baseman Quinten Fuller fields a ball as the runner reaches third in game two against Denison-Schleswig Friday.

The Panthers (21-10, 15-5) finished their conference matchups Friday as they hosted Denison-Schleswig on senior night. The teams split, the Panthers winning the first 5-3 and the Monarchs winning 9-3 in game two.

The first game picked up in the bottom of the second inning after the original game June 27 was called off part of the way through due to rain. The game picked up at 3-2, the Monarchs in the lead.

Creston landed three hits in the next three innings, but couldn’t find the score until the fifth. Junior Tyler Riley made it to second on an infield error. Senior Dylan Hoepker also took advantage of an error to get to first.

Senior Gavin Millslagle watches a bunt by Tanner Ray as he runs to second in game one against the Monarchs.

Senior Cael Turner hit a sacrifice bunt to advance Riley and Hoepker. Riley made it home on a sacrifice fly by freshman Tom Mikkelsen. Senior Sam Henry’s single let Hoepker score, and senior Quinten Fuller hit a double to send Henry home. Henry went 3-3 at bat for two RBIs and one run.

The Panthers’ defense shut out the Monarchs for the remainder of game one, not allowing them to add to the three they had on the scoreboard coming in to the game.

Senior first baseman Sam Henry gets a ball from the pitcher trying to pick off a runner leading off first.

Senior Milo Staver pitched a complete game, striking out eight batters, walking one and allowing four hits and three runs. In the top of the seventh, Staver was instrumental in keeping the Monarchs from making a comeback, striking out two batters.

Senior Milo Staver pitched game one, striking out eight batters and getting the win.

Game two got away from the Panthers as they struggled to contain the Monarchs’ hot batting. Denison capitalized on eight hits, seven walks and four batters hit by the pitch to send in nine runs, taking the lead in the third and running with it.

Creston went through four from the bull pen as they tried to rein in the Monarchs. Hoepker pitched 3.67 innings, striking out four batters and allowing four runs. Freshman Tanner Ray came in for 2.33 innings, striking out two and allowing five runs. Fuller faced two batters in the seventh and eighth-grader Brady McDonald came in to face the final three.

The Panthers had the first scores of game two, Turner hitting a double and then scoring on a double from Mikkelsen. Henry hit a single to send Mikkelsen in for the second run. In the second inning, Staver hit a double and then scored on a triple from Hoepker. Staver was 2-3 at bat.

After that, the Panthers couldn’t get the offense going, and the Monarchs started heating up. Scoring two in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh, the Panthers couldn’t stop Denison’s scoring onslaught.

Senior centerfielder McCoy Haines fields a ball in game two.

The doubleheader was a substate preview as the team’s face off again Friday in the Class 3A Substate 8 matchup in Creston. The winner advances to play Monday against the winner of the Harlan vs Carroll game.

Creston finished their regular season Monday against ADM, but scores were unavailable at press time.

Cheyenne Roche

CHEYENNE ROCHE

Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.