BRIGHTON – The Piasa Southwestern High School baseball team picked up a bounce-back win over the Pana Panthers Monday afternoon by a score of 13-3. It comes after dropping both games of a double-header against New Berlin last Saturday by scores of 12-7 and 28-16. The Piasa Birds’ record remains a positive one though at 12-9 now on the season.

Marcus Payne started on the mound for Piasa, and he was able to throw the entire six-inning game. Along the way, he picked up nine strikeouts while only walking one batter. He also recorded a hit and two RBI’s on the day.

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He found himself in a little trouble in the first inning. The Panthers were able to score a couple of runs early to take off to a 2-0 lead.

The Piasa Birds battled back though. Hank Bouillon’s flyout scored a run to cut the lead in half. Payne hit a sac fly in the second inning to tie the game at 2-2. They found themselves trailing again though after Pana scored another run in the third.

Southwestern had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the third and was able to take advantage of the situation. Ryan Lowis’ double scored two runs. Cale Schuchman hit a sac fly to score a run and Hunter Newell reached first to send another run in. It was 6-3 after three innings.

The Piasa Birds tacked on two more in the fourth to make it 8-3.

The fifth was quiet, but the bottom of the sixth sure wasn’t.

Gavin Day’s double scored two runs. Day found himself on third after a wild throw. He scored when Colin LeMarr hit a sac fly. The score was then 11-3. Day went 3-3 against Pana scoring two RBI’s and earning four runs.

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Schuchman, 3-3 on the day, singled to score Logan Crane who was pinch-running. And finally, Newell flew out to center scoring another run to get it to the eventual scoreline of 13-3 which is how things ended.

With this win, Piasa remains undefeated in South Central Conference play (4-0).

“It’s a good game for us today,” Piasa head coach Brian Hanslow said postgame. “Pana won the conference last season, so we’re just kind of setting the tone.”

He immediately set his sights on Friday’s conference game against the Staunton Bulldogs, but his team has two games before that.

The Piasa Birds will be back in action today (April 27) at 4:30 p.m. when they host White Hall North Greene. Then they’ll play Metro-East Lutheran on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at GCS Ballpark.

“We didn’t get to play their last year, or the year before because of COVID-19. It’s always a fun time to be there at a minor league stadium,” Hanslow added.

“It’s a little bit nicer than Schneider Park,” he said jokingly.

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