Panthers come up big after back to back losses to defeat Chaminade

Junior Max Schaefer

Junior Max Schaefer allowed no hits in the first inning Thursday against the Kahoks.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Becca Jones-Scales)

O’Fallon got on the board early on Thursday against Collinsville with a one run lead in the first inning thanks to senior Dillon Weiss. The Kahoks struck back in the second inning with a run to tie the game and took over the lead with two runs in the fourth. Unable to come back, the Panthers fell to Collinsville 4-2 in their first conference loss of the season.

It was a similar story on Friday for the Panthers when they hosted Naperville Central.  Senior Camden Bauer was the first to score on Friday. Bauer scored after junior Jordan Richardson was walked with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. Richardson’s walk was the third walked batter of the inning for Naperville Central Pitcher Ryan Elermann. In the top of the fourth inning Naperville brought in two runs and added two more in the seventh for a 4-1 finish.

Despite losing two in a row, head coach Jason Portz was not disappointed in his team.

“We have played a lot of games at the start of the season. Our guys started dragging a bit and we are looking forward to getting back into practice this week. From time to time you will have some let downs but I was overall very happy with how we played last week,” said Portz

Although they dropped two games in a row, the Panthers managed to bounce back and battled their way to a gritty win over Chaminade on Saturday.

A two-run home run from Chaminade’s Zimmermann put the Panthers down by three runs heading into the bottom of the third inning. A pair of Chaminade infield errors made way for Panthers Jared Dalonzo and Bradley Snyder to score and cut the Red Devil’s lead to one run.

Tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Bradley Harrison hit a blast over the right field fence for a solo home run and the first Panther lead of the game.  A single into centerfield by Joe Guithues scored Bauer and was enough to cement O’Fallon with the 6-4 win.

“We played cleaner defense,” said Portz. “It was a really good effort while we were down by three early. Our kids battled and scratched their way back in to it.”

This week O’Fallon will host Belleville East in an anticipated Southwestern Conference matchup on Thursday. On Saturday the team will play at Civic Memorial.

“Belleville East is always a quality conference game and we’re looking forward to getting a leg up on them,” said Portz. “Hopefully we can continue to play good defense and pitching. We would like to see our offense break out a little bit and that will help us out.”