Madison baseball edges Paris 4-3

Madison senior Austin Thornton takes a cut during his plate appearance for the Panthers. Thornton provided a sacrifice bunt that led to a Madison score in the sixth inning Monday, helping the Panthers defeat Paris 4-3 at home.
Chuck Embree/MMI
Chuck Embree, MI Sports Reporter
Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 1:42 pm

MADISON, Mo. — It took more than four innings before a run would be scored, and Madison collected only two base hits over the course of seven full innings of baseball Monday.

But that scoring drought, coupled with the pair of doubles produced by Austin Thomas, suited the Panthers just fine. Madison held on to edge its Monroe County neighbor Paris 4-3 at home.

The game would be a pitcher's duel featuring two distinct hurling styles. For the home team, it was Dylan Apel's change of speeds and location of pitches that frustrated Coyote batters. For Paris, it was the hard-throwing fastball delivered by Collin Crook that made it a challenge for the Panthers to get a solid connection.

Apel won this battle, and, for his second straight outing, he recorded double-digit strikeouts by fanning 14 batters Monday. Apel gave up all three runs on six base hits and walked three across the 6.2 innings he spent on the rubber to earn the win for Madison (5-2). Jimmy Layton recorded the final out and got the save.

The tough-luck losing pitcher for Paris (4-5) was Crook. In 4.2 innings of work, Crook was charged with two runs (one earned) on one hit and five walks, and he struck out six. Zac Rentschler came in relief to finish the game and allowed two runs (one earned) on one hit.

The first runs of the game arrived in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Tyler Duff and Layton were both hit by a pitch to leadoff this frame, and a double steal advanced both runners. A one-out sacrifice bunt executed by Skyler Love, followed by a throwing error, allowed both Duff and Layton to score on the play.

Alex Gibler led off the Madison sixth getting hit by a pitch and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Thornton. Thomas ripped an RBI double and would score when Duff reached safely on an error for a Madison 4-0 lead.

Paris put together a three-run rally in the top of the seventh but fell short of its goal. Forest led off with a single and, with one out, Anderson was hit by a pitch. Apel struck No. 9 batter Dylan Painter for the second out when Crook found a pitch to drive for a two-run triple to left center, and he scored on Jacob Wolfe's single to right field. A pitching change brought Layton to the mound, and the Madison sophomore induced a ground out to the third baseman to end the game.

Wolfe and Brent Miller each had two singles for the Coyotes. Crook smacked a two-run triple, and Forest also had a base hit.

The Panthers hit the road Thursday to play at La Plata.

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