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Panther freshmen improve in league defeats

Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 1:12 a.m. CDT

Creston dropped three conference doubleheaders in freshman baseball action during the past six days, but two of the losses were by one run.

Glenwood took victories of 9-5 and 7-6 on Thursday.

Dustin Merritt and Cody Wagner shared the pitching duties in the opener. In three innings, Merritt allowed three runs with no walks and three strikeouts. Kelby Luther hit a double for one of six Panther hits.

Tucker Flynn pitched three innings in the second game with six strikeouts, one walk and five runs allowed. Cole Higgins pitched an inning with three walks and two runs allowed.

Clayton Davis and Trevor Marlin each had two hits for the Panthers, and Flynn hit a triple.

“This was a game where I thought we showed tremendous improvement,” coach Anthony Donahoo said. “Our bats were going and the boys were having fun. The first game we led the entire way and lost it at the end. We came back to tie the second gave after being down 5-1.

Creston stayed on the road for a pair of 14-5 defeats at Carroll Kuemper Catholic Friday.

Higgins and Flynn each pitched two innings of the opener. Higgins had two strikeouts and no walks while yielding five runs. Cory Marquardt was 2-of-2 with a double for the Panthers.

Wagner, Marquardt and Kelby Luther each pitched an inning of game two. Wagner hit a double and triple, Marquardt had a double and Davis rapped two singles.

“Kuemper had a really good squad that gook advantage of some hot bats,” Donahoo said. “We showed some individual improvement. Clayton Davis and Cory Marquardt have taken giant leaps forward from where they started.”

Atlantic won a pair of games Monday, 6-5 and 10-2.

Merritt had a strong outing on the mound in the opener with 10 strikeouts in four innings, along with three walks. Higgins hit three singles. Flynn had a double and single.

Flynn pitched three innings of relief for Marquardt and Higgins in the second game, ending with six strikeouts and one walk with no runs allowed. Dylan Linch was 2-of-2 at the plate and Kelby Luther reached base twice on walks.

“Our boys battled all the way,” Donahoo said. “to Atlantic’s credit they played very good defense and took advantage of our young catchers. Dustin was throwing lights out and it was fairly hard for our new catchers to track the ball, which advanced some runners. We’ll be improved the next time we see them.”

Creston (0-8) hosted Winterset in a 10 a.m. doubleheader today before two more home games Friday in a rematch with Kuemper Catholic.

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