The Russellville Panthers played their last home game of the season on Thursday against the Butler County Bears. The Panthers fought hard and ended the game with a 5-1 win over the Bears. This win was especially important to head coach, Greg Shelton, because it is his 900th win as a coach.
The Panthers started the game off with two runs early in the first inning of the game. Jacob Procter got the first RBI after he doubled to bring in senior Zach Denney. Next, Jordan Blick would hit an RBI single to bring in Procter.
The two teams battled throughout the game and the Bears would come back to score one run in the top of the fifth. This only put the Panthers up 2-1 as they went into the last two innings of the game.
Senior Zach Denney lead off for the Panthers in the bottom of the sixth and hit a home run. Senior Corey Wright and Jordan Blick both scored on errors in the inning. This would bring the Panthers lead back to 5-1.
The Panthers finished out the seventh inning and get coach Shelton’s 900th win.
Zach Denney’s pitching would make a huge impact on the success of the Panthers defense. Denney had 12 strikeouts and allowed only three hits, one run and walked three.
“First off, 900 wins means that I’ve been fortunate enough with my health to be able to coach that long! Most importantly, I have been so fortunate to have players who were willing to work hard and do what they were asked. I have had great players who were willing to do that. I also have to thank the many assistant coaches I have had over the years who were willing to work and put in tireless hours for practically nothing financially; just love of the game,” said head coach Greg Shelton.
Shelton says nothing can be accomplished without the support of the school administration that you work for. He says he has had that support at every stop and thanks them for everything in helping to make this possible, as well as make our baseball program something to be proud of.
“Lastly, I want to thank my family for allowing me to spend most of my time doing something I sincerely enjoy, but something that caused me to take time away from them. Their support has allowed me to continue what I enjoy doing,” said Shelton.
The Panthers also took time to recognize their four seniors who have put a lot of time and dedication into the Panthers baseball program. They include Barrett Croslin, Zach Denney, Trey St. Remy and Corey Wright.