Panthers upset Eagles in first round playoffs

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Seeded number five in the NSCIF Division 7 playoff bracket, the Maxwell Panthers headed to the fourth seed against the Princeton Eagles last Friday. With a slow start, Maxwell found their groove in the top of the sixth inning, walking away with a 14-5 win.

The first three batters for Maxwell’s offense were a quick three up and three down, bringing Princeton to the batters box, at the bottom of the first. Josue Sullivan’s line drive brought runner Elias Cervantes across home plate for 1-0 Eagle lead. From the mound, Princeton’s Cervantes allowed a single hit from Maxwell’s offense by Nacho Velazquez.

Maxwell’s Vincent Fererra answered right back, striking out three Eagles batters over the second and third innings, allowing a single hit by Cervantes and a 2-1 Eagle lead. Both teams fell scoreless in the fourth inning. Cervantes walk placed Maxwell’s Nick Azevedo on first base to start the top of the fifth. Azevedo’s stolen second and third base was just what the Panther offense was looking for as Velazquez RBI line drive tied up the game, 2-2. A line drive double by Trent Hendrix sent Velazquez home, giving Maxwell their first led of the game, 3-2.

At the bottom of the fifth, Princeton easily stole the lead, advancing three runners across home plate and regaining the lead 5-3. The top of the sixth proved to be fatal for the Eagles as relief pitcher, Jarell Burrows, walked four batters and gave up seven hits to Maxwell’s offense. for an 14-5 score and a Panther win. ■