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Powers' walk-off blast gives Flowers first win

April 16, 2004|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Hancock baseball coach Tom Flowers had what sports personality "Dandy" Don Meredith once referred to as "a little hop in his giddy-up" as his team lined up for the handshakes at the end of the Panthers' game with St. James Thursday evening.

And why not? The results were decidedly different this go-around.

Bryan Powers drove a high fastball over the fence in right center for a two-run homer which ended the game in the sixth inning, and the Panthers gave Flowers his first coaching win, 11-0.

Powers' walk-off homer was the highlight of Flowers' milestone - other than Flowers' milestone, of course.

"We've been struggling, no doubt," Powers said. "Today we really needed to make something happen and we did."

"It seems like this was a long time coming," Flowers grinned. "But I feel good for the kids and for Andy (Morris)"

Morris, a junior, threw a masterful game, one-hitting the Saints while striking out nine. His hard-breaking curveball baffled the Saints all day.

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"Andy really got the curve working, especially on two strikes," Flowers said. "He has worked hard and I was glad for him."

Morris only fell behind on two batters and gave up his only hit, a single by the Saints' Will Cornelison, in the fifth inning.

Hancock scored in every inning. The Panthers only had six hits, but three were doubles by Derek Clingerman, Alex Younker and Josh McCusker. McCusker's two-out double in the second inning drove in Jaret Trail as the Panthers took a 4-0 lead.

"Nothing puts you in the right frame of mind like coming out and getting a few runs in," Flowers said. "We hadn't been in that position often this season, so I was concerned we could protect a lead."

The Panthers scored a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings before Powers' blast ended the game.

"I felt something was going to happen," Flowers said. "This was the best we looked when we took infield and I saw them bearing down as we put our offense together."

For the Saints (0-4), however, three dropped infield flies - part of five errors - spelled disaster.

"Baseball isn't a game where you can stand around and watch things happen," St. James coach Mick Kerns said. "We are not doing the fundamentals and until we do, the results are going to be the same."

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