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Panther baseball sees winning streak
May 10, 2019

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The Rugby High varsity baseball team made up for games postponed by late spring snow in a double header in Bottineau last weekend, and the wins were just what the team needed.

"We're sitting 5 and 1 in the region right now, which is where we want to be," noted Coach Kendall Scheive after the second game, won by the Panthers 13-3.

The first game in the set saw an equally impressive 11-4 win for Rugby.

The Panther winning streak began two days before the double header, with an 11-1 Rugby route against Dunseith in Rugby.

Saturday's games at Bottineau's Lumberyard started off with Rugby pulling ahead in the first two innings of game 1, with the Braves playing catch up. Errors by the Braves and hits for Rugby set the tone for the day. To make up for missed games, Rugby played as the visiting team in game 1, and the home team in game 2.

After the Panther win for the first game, the pattern continued.

The Panthers leapt ahead in the first inning, with a Mayson McCabe home run, followed by a base hit by Shayden Luna and a fly ball to left field by Kelby Gingerich, which set up the second Panther run for the inning.

Rugby's scoring drive continued in the second inning, when Brady Schock and Cy Luna walked, and a base hit by Jordan Stone loaded the bases. Schock walked to home base after a wild Bottineau pitch walked Shayden Luna. Rugby ended the inning with a 3-0 lead.

Devan Michels took the mound at the top of the third, and the first Brave batter struck out, followed by another out at first base, but a double by Ian Amsbaugh brought the Braves back to life, and the inning ended with two Bottineau runs scored.

The Panthers' time at bat at the bottom of the fourth saw another Schock base hit, and a base hit by Stone put Panthers on first and second base. Schock took advantage of a missed ball by Braves catcher Riley Biberdorf to run home for another Panther run. A double by McCabe set up another point, and after a Kelby Gingerich walk, pinch runner Logan Harner scored on a Michels hit.

One more Bottineau run in the fifth inning wasn't enough to close the gap with the Panthers, who led 8-3 as the sixth began. After Cy Luna walked to first, a Stone line drive resulted in a base hit, and a McCabe base hit advanced Stone to third and brought Cy Luna home. Shayden Luna drove the final runs home with a double, bringing McCabe home.

Three quick Bottineau outs ended the second game and the double header.

"We knew we had to come out and play well today, and have guys throw strikes, and really wanted to take a step forward today, instead of plateauing where we've been at, so anytime you can get two region wins in a day, it's a huge deal," Scheive said. "So, that's going to be big for all the guys."

He continued, "We've got a huge stretch coming up, though. We've got at North Star Thursday. We've got a great team, and then we bring Northern Lights or Rolette into town on Friday night for a varsity double header, just like we had today, so a huge stretch for the team."

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