A successful season for the Palmyra Panthers came to an end Monday when the Panthers lost 1-0 to South Callaway in a sectional-round baseball game in Palmyra.
What proved to be the game's only run came in the third inning with the help of an error. That misplay allowed South Callaway's Peyton Leeper to reach base. After taking second on a groundout, Leeper moved to third on a foul out. He would then score on a base hit.
After putting a runner on base in both the fourth and fifth innings, the Panthers would go down quietly in the sixth and seventh innings.
Palmyra's starting pitcher, Jacob Kroeger, took the loss despite allowing only one unearned run in 4 1/3.
"I felt like I gave my team a chance today, so that's all that matters," Kroeger said. I've got to hand it to him (South Callaway's pitcher, Leeper). He only gave up one hit. He's a solid pitcher. We put the ball in play enough, but they made the plays. It's hard to play a solid game, nearly perfect, so today they're the better team."
Leeper went the distance for the Bulldogs. In addition to one hit, Leeper walked two men while striking out eight.
"I have probably done that eight times this year. I'm kind of used to it," he said. "It felt good to throw a complete game today."
Dakota Compton had the Panthers' only hit. South Callaway managed just two hits off of Kroeger and reliever Bennett Stice.
Palmyra Coach Mark Loman tipped his cap to the Bulldogs.
"We hit the ball right at them today. They made all the plays. They had maybe one error and we didn't capitalize on the error. They made some really good defensive plays," he said. "Their pitcher did an outstanding job. He is just a great athlete."
Loman is pleased with the season his players put together.
"Our guys have played well and as a team all season. No regrets and I am very proud of them. They stuck together, battling and playing hard all season.
"The guys we're losing are not replaceable from the standpoint of who they are. They are great leaders. However, we have some great guys coming up who are ready to be seniors, so we turn the page and go on to next season."