Panthers sweep Coffeyville in double header


John Giffin

Sports editor

Sweeping Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference East foe Coffeyville Community College in a double header at Hudson Field Thursday, Neosho County Community College Head Baseball Coach Steve Murry picked up his 900th and 901st career wins.

The Panthers (15-11 KJCCC East, 28-12 overall) defeated the Red Ravens 16-6 in five innings in game one and 11-4 in game two. 

The career milestone was not as important to Murry as getting the sweep and staying in the third spot in the Jayhawk East standings.

“Winning the game was way more important than what number it was for an old time coach,” said Murry, who is in his 29th year at the Panther helm. “I’ve been associated with a lot of good young men and a lot of good assistant coaches. I’m happy to have it. It means you’ve won a few games, but I love the fashion we did that in.”

Murry’s overall record at Neosho is 901-601.

After dropping a conference match up at Allen County Community College on Saturday, the Panthers have put a little distance between themselves and the Red Ravens, who are currently three games behind Neosho in the Jayhawk East.

“I think it was really big because they are right on our butt in conference play,” Murry said about the double header sweep. “You have to win some games. To go 2-2, we wouldn’t lose any ground to them and stay ahead of them but now we have a chance to go 3-1 or 4-0 and separate ourselves.”

The Panthers scored a total of 27 runs with four homeruns. Three of the long balls came from Spencer Ibarra who finished the day 5-for-8 with three home runs and seven RBIs. Jonah Bride was perfect at the plate batting 5-for-5 and reaching base twice more with two walks. Blake Tomasino also went yard in game one.

“They kind of keyed on offense and the guys in front of them got on and they drove them in,” Murry said. “It was a real good offensive showing today.”

Tyler Mitzel (2-2) started game one and earned the win, getting three innings of work. He allowed a run and four hits before taking a seat because of an injury. Humboldt product Nathan Whitcomb came on in relief allowing five runs in five innings while striking out three.

In game two, Trent Latta (6-2) pitched seven innings to earn the game two win, allowing 11 hits and three runs while striking out five. Easton Barnes pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out three. He was pulled after walking a run in with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth with two outs. Jonah Bride finished the game on the mound, recording the final out with a strike out.

“Mitzel just sailed along that first game and I hated like heck to see the injury,” Murry said. “In the second game, (Latta) didn’t have his best stuff today but he’s a battler and did a great job for seven innings.”

The Panthers will finish the four game season series at Coffeyville Saturday. First pitch of the double header is 1 p.m.

PANTHERS 16, Coffey 6 (Apr 09, 2015 at Chanute, KS) (Game 1)

Coffey.............. 001 23 -  6  9  2      (19-22, 14-11)

PANTHERS............ 260 35 - 16 18  2      (27-12, 12-13)

Pitchers: Coffey - McCourt, Ryan; Harris, Bret(2); Huber, Tyler(4); Jones, Nick(5). PANTHERS -

Tyler Mitzel; Nathan Whitcomb(4).

Win-Tyler Mitzel(2-2)  Loss-McCourt, Ryan  T-  A-0

HR COFFEY - Hernandez, Alejandro; Sparr, TJ.

HR NEOSHO - Spencer Ibarra 2; Blake Tomasino.

PANTHERS 11, Coffey 4 (Apr 09, 2015 at Chanute, KS) (Game 2)

Coffey.............. 002 010 001  -  4 13  2      (19-23, 12-14)

PANTHERS............ 020 007 20X  - 11 10  1      (28-12, 15-11)

Pitchers: Coffey - Laughlin, Sean; Andrews, Jon(6); Christian, Dalton(7). PANTHERS -

Trent Latta; Easton Barnes(8); Jonah Bride(9).

Win-Trent Latta(6-2)  Loss-Laughlin, Sean  T-  A-0

HR COFFEY - Ketterman, Lane.

HR NEOSHO - Spencer Ibarra.

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