Prep Baseball: Panthers snap skid with MPC win
Having lost three straight games, the Ledford Panthers needed something or someone to spark a punchless offense and struggling pitching staff.
That one-two punch came from senior Bubba White on Thursday, who pitched a complete game and drove home a run in a decisive fifth inning to spur a 5-1 win over the Asheboro Blue Comets.
“Bubba is a leader and an excellent competitor,” Ledford coach Chris Adams said. “We’ve kind of messed around and lost three in a row and looked ugly doing it. Today, he stayed within himself, bought into the plan of throwing to their hitters and did a good job executing.”
White surrendered just one run and scattered six hits through seven innings. He also struck out six. Pitching to contact throughout, White attacked the strike zone with his fastball and did an outstanding job of keeping hitters on their heels.
The Panthers’ offense was tied down for much of the game by Asheboro starter Carson Asbill, but came alive with four unearned runs in the fifth inning. A pair of costly errors committed by Comets’ third baseman Nick Hannon opened the floodgates for the home team. White, Michael Horrell and Chaz Shields each delivered an RBI single in the inning.
“I was throwing strikes and the defense behind me played really well today,” White said. “We had that big inning and came around with the bats, so overall, it was a good team win.”
White admitted to some nervous moments in the first when Parker Clayton drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single for Asheboro. Ledford’s ace said that given his team’s recent struggles, it was easy to wonder if it might lose its fourth straight.
Instead, Ledford (5-3, 3-2 MPC 3-A) got that run back and White held the line until the offense finally broke through.
Although the big inning did not come until the fifth, the team laid the groundwork for it in the second. Jonathan Turner and Chaz Shields led off the second inning with a pair of singles and Garrett Hooker reached on an error to load the bases. Brady Johnson drew a walk that plated the Panthers’ first run of the game to tie the score at 1.
“That might have been our best overall game all year against a really quality opponent,” Adams said. “Bubba did a good job of getting ahead of hitters, and defensively, we made plays today. I’m proud of the effort.”