Langston Hughes had transport ion trouble that force the Panthers to arrive an hour late for Tuesday’s game against Alexander.
Once the game started, the Panthers had an issue in dealing with Alexander pitcher Nathan Mapstone.
The senior was on top of his game in a 10-0 win in five innings for the Region 5-AAAAAA contest.
Mapstone had 11 strikeouts and gave up only one hit with no walks.
“You can’t really argue with at,” Alexander coach Zack Romain said. “Once Nathan gets through that first inning, he is usually fine. It is mostly lights out after than.”
He had very little trouble in the first inning against Langston Hughes with two strikeouts to start the contest.
However, he was still critical of his performance.
“I don’t think I really had my best stuff,” Mapstone said. “I didn’t have much power. I just tried my hardest to push through it. I’m just glad for my teammates because they got the hits. They made it real easy for me.”
Payton Grant was the made power in the lineup with three hits in as many at-bats. Zack Smith had a double, and provided a highlight on the night.
It what appears to be a routine out, the Langston Hughes left fielder let the ball drop just behind him.
An alert Smith ran the bases and score off an error.
This was the second time in four days that the Cougars have defeated Langston Hughes. On last Friday, Alexander won 15-0 on the road.
Tuesday’s game was originally scheduled for Monday but weekend rain forced a postponement until Tuesday.
Alexander will take on New Manchester today in another region contest. Romain said playing back-to-back contest will not effect his pitching rotation.
New Manchester lost 12-2 to Douglas County on Tuesday.
Alexander got off to a slow start against Langston Hughes with only two runs in the first inning.
“We finally got there but it took us a minute,” Romain said.
The coach said the hour delay for the start because of Langston Hughes’ transportation issue probably contributed to the slow start.
“It probably didn’t help,” Romain said. “We had to make an adjustment. Usually it only takes one at-bat but tonight it took the third for most of our players.”
Sophomore outfielder Austin Slate agreed.
“Sitting around for an hour and then facing a 55 mph pitcher didn’t help,” Slate said. “It was kind of hard to adjust.”