The Perry Panthers opened their 2023 State Playoffs run at home yesterday as they faced the Cairo Syrupmakers for the second time in three years in the 1st Round of the AAAA Playoffs. Carson Shaw got the scoring started for the Panthers as he hit a two rbi single that ran in Nate O’Rear and Kam Vandersee in the bottom half of the first inning.
The Syrupmakers cut the lead down to 2-1 when Cade Puckett scored on an error by Cooper Edwards in the top half of the third. Perry responded quickly by plating four runs in the last of the third that were scored via a single, sac fly, single, and a walk that rounded the bases to lead 6-1 going into the fourth.
Cairo cut the gap down to four in the top half of the sixth when Cannon Maige hit an rbi double but that would be all the Syrupmakers would get as the Panthers took game one 6-2 to lead the series 1-0.
Carson Shaw led Perry in rbis with three followed by Nate O’Rear, Connor Griffin, and Bradley Parrish with one each. SP Cooper Edwards surrendered two runs (both earned) on three hits, walking five, and striking out a whopping 16 batters in 6 1/3 innings of work while Cairo’s pitchers combined to allow six runs (five earned) on seven hits, walking six, and striking out six.
Perry committed two errors while the Syrupmakers committed one error in game one.
The Panthers were the designated visitors in game two and plated two runs in the top half of the first via a Kam Vandersee two rbi single that ran in Nate O’Rear and Brady Bearden while Vandersee was thrown out trying to advance to second.
Perry plated three runs in the top half of the second that were scored via a Bradley Parrish two rbi double and a Nate O’Rear sac fly to push the lead to 5-0 Panthers after an inning and a half of play. Perry added it’s sixth run in the top half of the third via a double play to finish the inning but the run came in before the third out was recorded.
Cairo scored it’s lone run in the last of the fourth when Cade Puckett hit an rbi single that ran in Robert Watson to trail 6-1. The Panthers pushed the lead back to six in the top half of the sixth when Christian Fletcher hit an rbi single that ran in Kam Vandersee.
Perry would close the door on the series by taking game two 7-1 to sweep the Syrupmakers and advance to the Sweet Sixteen in the AAAA Playoffs. Kam Vandersee and Bradley Parrish led the Panthers in rbis with two each followed by Christian Fletcher, Connor Griffin, and Nate O’Rear with one each.
Perry SP Ben McDow surrendered one run (unearned) on three hits, walking two, and striking out 14 in six innings of work. Cairo’s pitchers combined to allow seven runs (five earned) on eight hits, walking four, and striking out seven. The Panthers committed two errors while the Syrupmakers committed no errors in game two.
Perry improves to 26-6 overall and will either host Trinity Christian or travel to Jesup to play Wayne Co in the Sweet Sixteen while Cairo finishes their 2023 season at 10-21 overall.