'Cats end 10-game losing streak
PRAIRIE HOME -- The Slater baseball team not only ended its string of 10 losses to begin the season, but did it in style Friday with a pair of double-digit innings to sweep Class 1, District 10 rival Prairie Home, 15-14 and 17-10.
The Wildcats needed every run they could get in the opener as the host Panthers began the contest with a three-run homer by sophomore Joe Howell. Slater responded quickly and decisively, with an 11-run rampage in the top of the second inning.
Sophomore Marco Falls got the rally off with a bang by drilling his third homer of the season, later adding a two-run single. Junior Donald Fizer knocked in a pair with a double, junior JaRon Allen, sophomore Justin Herring and freshman Kyle Durham contributed RBI singles and freshman Brad Ward tacked on a two-run single -- scoring when forced in with a walk to Allen.
Prairie Home chipped away at the margin, closing within a run before Falls tripled in senior Eric Ward with one out in the seventh. Durham and Brad Ward added singled to plate two more Purple runs.
Senior Wes Kirschman homered with two men on base in the bottom of the seventh, but there were already two down when that happened and Herring got the last batter to pop up.
The 'Cats led from wire to wire in the nightcap. Herring's two-run double gave them a 3-0 lead in the first. Slater was still ahead 3-1 when it exploded for 10 runs in the third, Brad Ward's RBI double followed by three walks.
Allen drove in two with a double, two more came in on Eric Ward's single. Durham doubled and Falls legged out a triple.
Freshman Lance Cramer and sophomore Drew Sells each plated a pair of runs with singled during the Panthers' six-run third, but they never came close to catching up.
Falls doubled in a run and scored in the fifth, Herring doubled and was brought in by freshman Shaun Durham's single in the sixth and Kyle Durham tripled and crossed on Falls' sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Junior Jake Pethan was four-for-four in the first game and scored twice in the getaway contest for Prairie Home (3-8).
The No. 3 hitters, Herring then Kyle Durham, combined with Falls in the cleanup spot to go 12 for 16 with 10 RBIs and 11 runs. Slater banged out 14 hits in the second game nine for extra bases.
The 'Cats (2-10) will be on the road Wednesday against another district foe: tournament host Harrisburg.