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With the Putnam County baseball team down by four runs and searching for offense in Thursday’s Tri-County Conference game against Woodland, Egan hit a bases-clearing triple and then scored the game-tying run to help propel a game-changing eight-run fifth inning for the Panthers.
The senior then pitched the final two innings of relief to close out PC’s 9-6 win over Woodland.
“Jack came up and did what he needed to do,” PC coach Dave Garcia said. “He got a pitch to hit with the bases loaded. He let the pitch come to him, got a big extra-base hit and got us right back in the game.”
The eight-run fifth inning turned a 5-1 PC deficit into a 9-5 cushion.
After a 1-2-3 top of the sixth, Egan allowed a one-out run in the seventh before a strikeout and a ground out ended the Panthers’ TCC-opening win.
“I just hoped we had enough drive to come back and put some runs on the board,” Egan said. “I never had a doubt in our ability to do it. I had faith in us. It was a big win.”
The big fifth inning made up for a sloppy first four innings that saw Woodland (0-2, 0-1 TCC) score runs on a passed ball, a dropped third strike and an error.
However, PC (3-0, 1-0 TCC) came alive in the fifth.
After three straight singles to start the inning, Egan tripled down the right-field line to pull PC to 5-4.
Two batters later, PC designated hitter Austin Pletsch singled home Egan to tie the game at 5.
Pletsch took second after first baseman Jake Kasperski was hit by the pitch. Kasperski was later forced at second on Tyler Williams’s fielder’s choice, but Pletsch scored on an error when the back end of Woodland ‘s double play attempt ended with the ball sailing into the Woodland dugout.
The error gave PC a 6-5 lead.
The Panthers added three more runs in the frame, which saw 13 PC players bat and seven get base hits.
“We needed to catch some breaks, and we were able to get some base runners on,” Garcia said of the inning.
After PC starter Cody Ballerini allowed two earned runs in three innings pitched, Harold Fay allowed three earned runs in two innings but picked up the win after the eight-run fifth.
Egan pitched the final two innings to finish the Panther victory.
“They threw like it’s March 28,” Garcia said of his pitching staff. “Our guys are leaving some balls up and they are trying to get a feel for their offspeed, but they are out there competing, and that’s all I can ask for right now. They are only going to get stronger as the year goes on.”
Egan finished 2-for-3 with four RBI, while Ballerini had two hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Evan Kreiser also reached base four times and scored twice.
Jared Bell can be reached at 220-6938, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsJared.
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