Panthers open strong


The Cleveland Panthers have come out of the gates swinging. Mike Johnson’s team has won seven straight to start the season, including a doubleheader sweep of Locust Fork last week. Thursday, Feb. 28 at Locust Fork Cleveland 16, Locust Fork 3

The Panthers scored five runs in the first inning and led 7-2 after two innings.

Cleveland scored four more in the fourth and added another run in the sixth inning before putting the game away with four runs in the top of the seventh.

Kaleb Melvin (1-0) got the win by scattering seven hits.

Patrick Johnson (4 for 5), Trent Tatum (3 for 5, three doubles), and Jesse Aaron (2 for 5) led the Cleveland offense. Cleveland 9, Locust Fork 7

In a back-and-forth tussle, Cleveland took the early lead with three runs in the first inning, only to see Locust Fork score four runs in the second and three more in the third to take a 7-3 lead.

Down by four runs, the Panthers rallied for the win with six runs in the fifth inning.

Kyle Blackwood got the win on the mound for Cleveland to improve to 2-0 on the year.

Blackwood (2 for 2, walk) and Patrick Johnson (2 for 4) led the Panther offense. Friday, March 1 at Dora Cleveland 5, Dora 4

The host Bulldogs led 3-0 after three innings but Cleveland scored a run in the fourth, two in the sixth, and two in the seventh to lead 5-3.

Dora came through with a run in the bottom of the seventh but Panther ace Chance Collimon shut down the Bulldogs to get the win.

Hollimon (2-0) went the distance and surrendered just four hits with one walk and nine strikeouts.

Brody McAlpine (4 for 4, three stolen bases), Kaleb Melvin (2 for 4, walk), and Hollimon (1 for 4, double) led the Cleveland offense.