syeagle@demo-mo.comMay 3, 2013 

Raymore-Peculiar was clinging to a 4-1 advantage over rivals Belton in the game held April 29 at Raymore-Peculiar all the way until the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Panthers turned up the bats in that inning, putting in seven runs to spread the Pirates 11-1 and end the game.

“I think early we kind of struggled,” Raymore-Peculiar junior second baseman Storm Rynard said. “We didn’t come up with some bunts and we didn’t get the runs across. But toward the end of the game, we started playing together. We started coming up with big hits and getting the runs we needed.”

The first two innings were scoreless for both teams, with Panther senior pitcher Hunter Phillips racking up three strikeouts on the mound. Then in the bottom of the third inning, Rynard started things of with a triple. After Turner Wehmeyer struck out, Austyn Cochran tried for a double on an error, was tagged out at second, but not before sending Rynard home to put Raymore-Peculiar up 1-0.

“I thought I came out and really focused on my approach and hit the ball hard and made things happen,” Rynard said.

But in the top of the fourth inning, the Pirates tied things up as Zach Kelly hit a double and Jordan Turner singled. Tyler Herdman singled, Turner was forced out at second, but Kelly made it across home plate for the score.

Josh Hicks got a double on an error, but Phillips struck out Jake Haus to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers started things off as Josh Scribner was hit by a pitch, with Mason Nowell put in as a courtesy runner. Alex Hunt struck out, but Cort Lesmeister singled on an error and Nowell made it home to give Raymore-Peculiar a 2-1 advantage.

Raymore-Peculiar scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning starting with a single by Rynard. Cochran singled sending Rynard home. Josh Scribner singled, followed by another from Hunt to send Cochran home and putting the Panthers up 4-1.

Phillips struck out two more Pirate batters in the top of the sixth inning, to end the day with seven strikeouts.

“I thought I came out throwing the ball pretty well,” Phillips said. “The breaking ball was working very good. They seemed to be catching on to them pretty well, so I mixed it up a little bit and got the job done.”

Then in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Panthers caught on fire. Belton put in Kelly to pitch, relieving Nate Brown on the mound. Raymore-Peculiar started things off as Jordan Van Trump walked. Blake Skeed bunted and was forced out at first, but Rynard hit a double, sending Van Trump home for a run.

Jeremy Habelitz followed with a single, as did Cochran to give Rynard a run. Jake Scribner singled next to send Habelitz home, making the score 8-1. Josh Scribner singled, with Logan Moore put in as a courtesy runner, but not before Cochran scored another run for the Panthers.

Hunt’s fly ball to left field was caught, but Nowell was hit by a pitch to get on base. Then Van Trump hit a triple to send Jake Scribner, Moore and Nowell home and end the game as the Panthers won 11-1.

“I was hoping to do it a little bit earlier,” Rynard said about the spread. “But we stuck with it and ended up working it out in the end.”

With the win, the Panthers improve their record to 7-9, while the Pirates fall to 4-9.

“It’s the third time I’ve gone to the mound, not on varsity, but in the past, and we’ve beat Belton,” Phillips said. “So it feels pretty good.”

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