Falcons Get Great Pitching Performance from O'Donnell but Come Up Short vs. Panthers 6-4

The Falcons opened their season on Wednesday at Hartnell and started out with a bang. After both teams failed to get a hit in the first three innings, Andrew Bladt led off the 4th inning with a single. The next batter was Evan Walter who belted a deep home run to left centerfield to give the Falcons a two run lead. After an infield single by Alante Uribe and a walk to Mckay Glines, sophomore outfielder Adrian Flores brought Uribe home on a RBI single to left to put the Falcons up 3-0. Starting pitcher Dillon Moran threw three shutout innings, but faced adversity in the 4th as he gave up three consectutive singles leading to the Panthers scoring two runs in the bottom of the 4th, pushing the score to 3-2. The Falcons answered back in their half of the 6th as Evan Walter led off the inning with a walk. Alante Uribe followed with a double to the right center gap, scoring Walter, giving the Falcons a 4-2 lead.

This lead held until the 8th, as sophomore LHP Ryan O'Donnell threw three shutout innings. The Panthers finally got to O'Donnell in the 8th with the help of some defensive miscues by the Falcons. After two walks and a stolen base, the Panthers had runners at 1st and 3rd with one out when O'Donnell got what may have been an inning ending double play to shortstop, but the ball was misplayed by shortstop Andrew Bladt, allowing the runner at 3rd to score. After a pitching change was made, sophomore RHP Justin Vlotho came in to try and limit the damage. After walking the first batter, Vlotho gave up a 2 RBI single to Justin Scanlon, giving the Panthers their first lead of the game 5-4. The Panthers were able to add on to their lead on a mishandled double play attempt by Bladt, which made the score 6-4, in favor of the Panthers, and the Falcons were unable to arrange a comeback in their half of the 9th inning. Despite being ahead most of the game, the Falcons were unable to put the game away, and lost the first game of the new season. Andrew Bladt and Alante Uribe both had two hits, while Evan Walter provided the big at bat of the game with the two run homer. The Falcons look to even the series on Thursday, when they host Hartnell in Coalinga at 2pm.