North Manchester, Ind. – The Summit City Sluggers (5-3, 5-2 ISCL) swept a doubleheader (13-3, 4-1) from the Fort Wayne Panthers (1-5, 1-5 ISCL) in Indiana Summer Collegiate League action on Saturday afternoon at Gratz Field. With the two victories, the Sluggers regained first place from the Twin City Bankers.
The Sluggers offense exploded for 13 runs in the first game, showing no rust from last week’s bye. The Sluggers started things early, as Austin Plasterer scored the first run in the bottom of the first off a Sean Knepper groundout. Plasterer reached via a walk and promptly stole second before advancing to third when the throw went into center field.
The Panthers would load the bases the in the next half inning but Sluggers starting pitching Dalton Gentry would strike out the side to end the threat. Summit City’s offense would find it’s grove in the bottom of the second, scoring seven runs on six hits to build an 8-0 advantage. Jamar Weaver got the train rolling with a two bagger to right center and Austin Plaster delivered an RBI single to give the Sluggers a 5-0 lead before Sean Knepper smashed a two run homer to deep left center. Younger brother Eric doubled three batters later to effectively chase Panthers starter Travis Clark.
The Sluggers would add four runs one inning later to push the lead to 12. The Panthers offense would finally breakthrough in the top of the fourth for two runs. A wild pickoff throw to first by Gentry allowed Andrew Wilson to advance to third and Keaton Sullivan to score from second. James Spera would then single home Wilson.
Eric Knepper would another insurance run in the bottom of the fourth with a deep home run to right field over the bleachers at neighboring Carl W. Burt Field. Zach Shie would come into pitch for Gentry in the fifth and closed the door for the win. Gentry pitched four innings, giving up two runs on two hits while striking out six.
In game two the Sluggers got another dominant pitching performance, this time starting with Nick McCoy, who threw four strong innings of one run ball, surrender only three hits while fanning five. Conner West then came in for two innings and didn’t allow a run before Tanner Andrews picked up the save in the 4-1 win.
Plasterer got things rolling for the Sluggers offense once again in the top of the first, bunting his way on before an Evan Brown single to center three batters later brought him home.
Conner Lengerich would double home John Tutttle in the home half of the second and a wild pitch allowed Nathan Stark to score and give the hosts a 3-0 lead, more than enough for McCoy.
The Sluggers will travel up to Fort Wayne on Sunday for the remaining two games with the Panthers. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at St. Francis Field.