Missed chances hurt Pekin in season starter
WAPELLO — Wapello spoiled the managerial debut of new Pekin head coach Pie Reighard on Tuesday, defeating the Panthers 5-3 in the season opener in Wapello.
Despite out-hitting Wapello by two, the Panthers left 12 runners on base in the two-run loss.
“We just didn’t hit the ball when we needed to. We’re a better hitting team than that,” said Reighard, who took the program’s reins from long-time coach Jeff Eeling this offseason.
Wapello scored five runs vs.Pekin starter Jon Irwin in the bottom of the second to take a 5-0 lead. Irwin struggled with his control and wasn’t able to make it out of the third inning. The senior walked seven and struck out three in 2 2/3 innings.
Behind Zach Sloan, however, the Panthers shut out Wapello the rest of the way. Sloan gave up just two hits and two walks while punching out 10 batters in 4 1/3 innings of solid relief.
The Panthers got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth and scored two more runs in the sixth inning to come within two.
Thomas Slaney went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Jon Irwin was 2-for-4 with a run plated. Jaydan Nicholson ended up 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored, and Cade Millikin also had an RBI base knock.
Pekin (0-1) continues its season at Winfield-Mount Union Friday.
Pekin @ Wapello
Pekin– 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 — 3 7 0
Wapello – 0 5 0 0 0 0 x — 5 5 2
PEKIN — Slaney 2-3, RBI; Nicholson 1-3, RBI, R; Millikin 1-3, RBI; Irwin 2-4, R; Clubb 1-4; Sloan R
Pitching — Irwin (L, 0-1) 2.2 INN, 3H, 5R, 5ER, 3K, 7BB; Sloan 4.1 INN, 2H, 0R, 10K, 2BB