Panthers given the Gate

By Anthony Rhoads

It's hard to win in baseball when you make errors, leave runners on base and have less than stellar pitching.

That's what happened to Forest Park at Tuesday in a 10-5 Region 4-AAAA loss to Northgate.

Forest Park committed three errors, left nine runners on base and Panther pitchers allowed eight walks and eight hits and hit two batters in the loss to the No. 3-ranked team in Class AAAA. Forest Park entered Tuesday's game ranked No. 6 in Class AAAA in the gabaseball.net state coaches' poll. The Panthers

"Today we just made a lot of mental errors," Forest Park head coach Quinton King said. "We'll just have to be ready for tomorrow."

Forest Park (16-6, 8-6) plays at North Clayton today at 5:30 p.m. in a region contest.

"For me, it's just another game we have to play on the schedule," King said. "We just have to play smart baseball. We can't let this loss get us down."

Forest Park trailed 7-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning.

B.J. McKinney led off the bottom half of the fourth by reaching on an error. Josh Froneberger followed with a walk and Gerald Henrichson loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch. Tony Peak then hit into a double play but that allowed pinch runner Yahaziel Simon-Page to score Forest Park's first run.

Freshman Antonio Kendrick then stepped to the plate and smacked a two-run home run to cut Northgate's lead to 7-3.

Northgate padded its lead to 10-3 going to the bottom half of the sixth.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Chris Cabello singled and Cody Garner followed with a ground-rule double.

Froneberger and McKinney then ripped back-to-back RBI singles to bring the score to 10-5.

McKinney was the only Forest Park player to record multiple hits as he went 2-for-3.

Smart seniors: The Forest Park baseball team honored its eight seniors Tuesday in the final home game of the 2004 season. The seniors include Simon-Page, Kris Eason, Josh Froneberger, Lance Lewis, Demontez Lockett, McKinney, A.J. Horton and Hinrichson.

The seniors have an average GPA of about 3.4 with Simon-Page leading with a 3.9 GPA.

"That's wonderful," King said. "They work hard in the classroom, not just on the field. That's what we preach to them, they have to work hard on their academics and in the field. They're all going to college whether they're playing baseball or going on academics. All eight seniors are striving for something bigger."