RALEIGH — With two RBIs from Jordan Hockaday and Corey Wall, Panther Creek extended their first playoff run to the third round on Friday night with a 4-1 win at Optimist Park against host Sanderson.
The Catamounts put the first run on the board in the top of the third, as Hockaday doubled home Wilson Jolly from second.
“Jordan is really our best hitter, he is really our catalyst,” Panther Creek head coach Dan Hall said. “He is so versatile. He DH’d tonight, usually plays left field. He has one to really come through when we need him. He’s a senior and it’s been unbelievable to watch him play.”
Spartans answered back in the bottom of the fourth as Connor Baldy opened the inning with a double down the third-base line, and then was brought home on a double to right by Daniel Dulaney, tying the game at one.
“They played great all year. They played great tonight,” said Sanderson head coach Todd Laughlin. “Hats off to Panther Creek, they played a hard, scrappy-type game. We hit a lot of balls hard, we just couldn’t get them on the ground.”
After plating across a run in the fifth, the Catamounts put the game out of reach with two runs in the sixth inning.
With one out, Josh Maciejewski walked, followed by a single by Nathan Lee. Wall brought them both in with a double up the middle.
“They stayed together,” Hall said. “The will to win has grown in this group. The more we played, over the last five to six game, their will to win; their will to compete has grown each time.”
Hockaday went 2-for-4 from the plate, with two doubles while Wall went 2-for-3. Dulaney went 2-for-3 for the Spartans.
Panther Creek will host Heritage on Tuesday in the third round.