What started as a pitching dual turned into a hit parade for the Spring Hill Panthers in their convincing 11-1 win over the Van Vandals on Thursday evening at Christus Trinity Mother Frances Mike Carter Field.
The Panthers collected 16 base hits and closed things with a walk-off infield single from Trent Gregson that enabled Marshall Lipsey to trot home from third.
Game 2 in the best-of-three Class 4A regional baseball quarterfinal is 5 p.m. Friday at Mike Carter Field. If a third game is needed, it will be played 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 2.
Caden Noah had command early and scattered five hits with seven strikeouts to run his pitching record to 7-3. Noah helped himself at the plate as well when he cranked a two-run homer to right in the fourth. It was Noah's fourth round-tripper of the season.
Spring Hill (22-10-1) started a two-out rally in the fourth when Jonas Roberts got hit by a Manny Moore offering. Courtesy runner Craig Hunnicutt came home in front of Noah's bomb that cleared the high fence in right with ease.
Gregson raced around when Logan Avant turned on a fastball and drove it to right. Avant finished 3 for 3 with an RBI and one run scored.
Dylan Hutchison slapped a single to left and came in from second on a Ryan Lepire run-scoring base knock to right for a 6-0 advantage. Lepire finished the evening with three singles and one run scored.