Panthers, Cougars fall in second round

Clark at bat
Clark Cougars at bat during the second round of playoffs

O’Connor and Clark went into round two of the Class 6A playoffs filled with momentum.

The two District 28-6A teams began the post-season by sweeping their bi-district opponents where they showed their bat strength and sound pitching.

Friday, they hit a road block during their one-game area playoff series. O’Connor lost a 15-2 decision to Churchill in five-innings and Reagan run-ruled Clark (15-10), 10-0.

Churchill pitcher Jack Neely held the Panthers to one hit and struck out nine. However, O’Connor, which won 7-0, 22-6 decisions over Schertz Clemens in bi-district, jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first.

Catcher’s interference and two hit batsmen loaded the bases, before Sean Rivas lined a two-run single to left.

That was the only offense the Panthers could muster as Neely settled into his groove.

At the same time, Churchill’s offense came to life. The Chargers moved in front with four runs in the second before breaking the game open with an 11-run fifth inning.

Clark looked solid in its series with Smithson Valley, starting with a five-inning no-hitter from Jaykub Rayfield in 10-0 victory, before following with a 5-2 win.

In both games, Clark came up with big plays to maintain the upper hand. This time, Reagan took charge quickly.

The Rattlers leaped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and continued to produce offensively, while receiving stout mound work from Cal Carver, who scattered five hits.

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