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Bruton Coach Feenie Carter predicted the Panthers would go through growing pains with a young roster this season, some of which were evident during Bruton's 9-2 home loss against Smithfield on Tuesday.
Rough stretches of pitching and multiple dropped balls on defense plagued the Panthers, who had the unfortunate task of opening their season against one of the better teams in the Bay Rivers District.
"We made some young mistakes. We're young and we're going to make some mistakes," Carter said. "I think if we just keep working, I think they're going to get better and come along."
Bruton's starting pitcher Clee Yocum found himself in a jam during the first inning, facing the bases loaded with two outs. Yocum kept his composure and struck out Smithfield's Dillon Wright to end the inning.
Things did not go so smoothly in the second inning as Smithfield scored runs on three consecutive at bats to take a 3-0 lead against the Panthers.
Bruton got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Zach Calloway tripled into right field. Calloway's triple set up Kevin Zamudio, who hit a single into left field and brought Calloway home.
Smithfield blew the game open in the top of the fifth inning, scoring first on an error and then adding two more runs on a fielder's choice later in the inning. An RBI single by Dionte Brown capped the inning and put Smithfield on top 7-1.
Jack Darden of Smithfield made matters worse by belting a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning, which resulted in Smithfield's final runs of the game.
The Panthers added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but were unable to muster any sort of comeback in the loss.
Bruton (0-1) will look to rebound at home against Grafton on Friday.
Smithfield: 030;042;0 — 9 10 1
Bruton: 000;101;0 — 2 4 3
WP: Jakob Ryan
LP: Clee Yocum
Smithfield: Jack Darden (2-3, 2 RBIs), Dionte Brown (1-3, 2 RBIs)
Bruton: Kevin Zamudio (1-3, RBI), Zach Calloway (1-2, 2 R)
Lafayette Opens Season With Victory Over Warhill
Lafayette's offense exploded for seven runs during a 7-3 win against Warhill at home on Tuesday.
Pacing Lafayette was Gabe Bono, who went 2-for-3 from the plate with a pair of RBIs. John Barton and Mitch Barrick also drove in runs for Lafayette in the win.
The Rams jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first three innings of play, but that grew to 6-0 before Warhill scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning.
A final run in the bottom of the sixth inning helped Lafayette clinch the season-opening victory.
Lafayette (1-0) will host Smithfield on Friday, while Warhill (0-1) will travel to play York on Friday.
Warhill: 000;003;0 — 3 5 2
Lafayette: 102;121;x — 7 7 1
WP: Chase Bauer
LP: Aaron Davidson
Warhill: Cam Fowler (3-4)
Lafayette: John Barton (2-4. RBI), Gabe Bono (2-3, 2 RBIs), Mitch Barrick (1-3, RBI)