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THOMAS â€” The Snake River American Legion team picked up a big split with the visiting Madison Cats on Wednesday afternoon by winning game one 6-4 and dropping the late game 14-3 in five innings.
"I think that overall I was pleased with the way that we played today, especially in the first game," Snake River skipper Tom Strickland said. "We played good defense, had some good pitching. In the second game we had a rough first inning or I think that we would have been right in it."
The game one victory was the first on the young season for the Panthers and it was a team effort from top to bottom.
Shane Parkinson got the nod on the bump for the Panthers and the lanky right-hander simply got stronger as the game went on, scattering 7 hits in the complete game victory.
"Shane pitched a real good ball game for us," coach Strickland said. "He threw strikes and got stronger as the game went along."
Madison was able to plate 4 runs in the first two innings but never threatened after the second inning as the Snake River offense went to work at overtaking the lead.
The Panthers cut the lead in half with a pair of runs in the third inning. Travis Robertson got a 1-out single to ignite the rally and Cody Dean provided the big hit in the inning with a 2-out, 2-RBI double.
A run in the fifth pulled the Panthers to within a run and then the bottom of the line up came up aces for the Panthers as Kaden Schmitt, Trey Serr, Zane Stephenson and Brendon Finn hit four consecutive singles for a trio of runs and a 6-4 lead.
A perfect seventh from Parkinson put the final nail in the Cats as the Panthers put a big win in their hip pockets.
Game two was not quite as successful for the Panthers. Madison came out swinging a big bat as they worked the count for several first inning walks and capitalized on those runners with a grand slam home run in the top of the first inning and a 9-0 lead.
Snake River answered with a run in the home half of the inning when Cash Cardona plated Travis Robinson with a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the third inning Brendon Finn led off with a double that he hustled into a triple when the short stop bobbled the relay throw.
Finn then scored two batters later when Brett Parkinson, who is battling a bad back, got his first RBI of the year with a solid single to left field.
Snake River also tallied a run in the fourth when Cody Dean hustled home on a fielders choice but in the end Madison's large lead proved to be a mountain that could not be climbed as Snake River succumbed after five innings of play.
"Overall we played pretty well today," coach Strickland said. "I think that we will surprise some people this year. All the teams that we've played so far we've played tough and this team really gets along well with each other. The kids that played last year just had so much fun and I think that is why they are back this year wanting to play and the guys get along good, they have fun and that is what it's really all about."
Snake River (1-5) will return to their home diamond on Saturday when they host Sugar-Salem for a double-dip beginning at 4 P.M.
MADISON 220 000 0 - 4 7 1
SNAKE RIVER 002 013 - 6 10 1
Panther hitters - Travis Robertson 1-4, Cody Dean 2-3 2B, Trey Serr 2-3
MADISON 910 13 - 14 14 1
SNAKE RIVER 101 10 - 3 5 1
Panther hitters - Brett Parkinson 1-1 RBI, Cody Dean 1-2, Zane Stephenson 1-2, Brendon Finn 1-2 2B