|Sterling (Kan.) (44-13)||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||8||1|
|York College (43-13)||0||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||0|
|Great Bend, KS Great Bend Sports Complex|
|Sterling (Kan.)||Pitching||York College|
|Sterling (Kan.)||Indv. Stats||York College|
|3 Players||Doubles||2 Players (#0,#13)|
|None||Home Runs||#11 Johnson, Michael|
Corey Mixon (JR/Lake Isabella, CA) allowed just two runs over seven innings and got all the help he needed from Michael Johnson (SR/Union City, CA) as the Panthers beat 15 Sterling College to advance in the winner's bracket of the KCAC Tournament. Johnson hit two towering home runs to score all three runs for the Panthers in what was a very close and fingernail biting game.
Mixon struggled a little bit early as he gave up two doubles in the first inning that gave Sterling the advantage before the Panthers even got up to bat. He gave up another two hits in the second inning before striking out the final two batters to keep the Warriors off of the board.
Michael Johnson was able to answer back after Jose Bueno (SR/Oak Hills, CA) led of the second inning with a double. Johnson took the 2-0 pitch high and far as the ball hit off the top of the lights in left field. That two-run shot gave the Panthers their lead the would retain going into the fourth inning.
Mixon gave up two more hits in the fourth allowing a one out double to score the tying run. But coach Brian Walth wasn't too worried once Mixon got out of the inning since Johnson was due up to lead off the fourth. "When he hits one home run he usually hits two so I was hoping that was the case tonight," said Walth. The first pitch Johnson saw he laced over the scoreboard in left-center field for his 16 home run of the season and gave his team the lead for good.
The Panthers' pitching did the rest as Mixon didn't allow a hit in his final three innings before Jaraad Salas (JR/Ewa Beach, HI ) came in for the final two innings. Salas gave up a walk to his first batter before settling in. He struck out two batters and picked off the runner he put on first to end the eighth. In the ninth he allowed one hit before striking out two and forcing a fly out to end the ball game.
"Mixon pitched a great game and Salas was feeling great tonight in a very tough matchup. We knew going into this game we had to keep them to two runs or less. They pitched [Kade] Wagner, the conference pitcher of the year, against us and we knew we weren't going to be able to get many hits off of him. Mike had his number tonight getting three hits off of him. Mike did a tremendous job seeing his release and reading the pitches. It's a great win but we're going to have another tough game coming up as we play the winner of the Tabor/Sterling game next," said Walth.
The Panthers improve to 43-13 on the season and will face the Tabor/Sterling winner at 7 p.m. Friday night.