First inning dooms Gowanda in 4-3 loss

CHEEKTOWAGA – The No. 6 Gowanda Panthers played a near flawless baseball games from the second inning on.

However, the first inning was all No. 3 JFK needed in knocking off the Panthers, 4-3, Tuesday in Section 6 Class B-2 quarterfinal baseball action.

After a couple defensive miscues and a few walks, Gowanda found itself behind 4-0 after the first inning.

But Gowanda pitcher Walker Cygan was lights out the rest of the way.

“I said in the second inning to my assistant coach, ‘They aren’t going to get another run,'” Gowanda coach Tim Smith said. “It was a matter if we could put up four runs. It held true. They didn’t get a runner past first base after that first inning.”

The Panthers scored three runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run single by Ryan Boutelle. Chase Williams and John McCarthy each scored a run.

“Walker pitched a good game,” Smith noted. “As a team, we would like to get that first inning back, but Walker kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win.”

Justin Grimm played his final game for the Panthers.

“We wish him the best,” Smith said. “He had a nice career for us.

“It stinks to lose,” Smith concluded. “This team is loaded with potential. They gained a ton of experience this year. We are looking forward to 2014.”