By Jeffery Armstrong
It's been said that all good things come to an end n unfortunately for the Forest Park Panthers baseball team, their good thing ended earlier than they hoped.
Forest Park's six-game winning streak to start the season came to an abrupt end Wednesday evening, as the Alexander Cougars defeated the Panthers 8-4 in Region 4-AAAA action at Forest Park.
Alexander (4-2, 1-0) broke out for a five-run fifth inning to turn a 4-3 deficit into an 8-4 lead. Forest Park (6-1, 0-1) lost control in that inning as the team committed an error and walked four batters to lose its lead.
"I told the guys that everybody has a bad game, even the pros. Nobody in the major leagues goes 162-0," said Forest Park head coach Quinton King. "One loss isn't going to kill our season. Now we'll see what kind of character my team has."
Forest Park jumped on Alexander in the second inning. The Panthers loaded the bases with one out, but the Panther pinch-runner on third was picked off on a failed bunt attempt for the second out. After a walk to Lance Lewis loaded the bases again, DeMontez Lockett hit a sharp grounder to short that was booted by Alexander's Daniel Laiisey, allowing two runs to score.
Isaiah Froneberger got two more RBIs for Forest Park after lining a grounder to Alexander second baseman Chris Martin, who also made an error. Just like that, Forest Park led 4-0.
Alexander finally dented the scoreboard in the third inning off Forest Park pitcher Gerry Hinrichsen. Third baseman Shawn Kimberley started the inning with a double and Martin was hit by a pitch. After a wild pitch, a strikeout and a 3-0 count on Alexander's Drew Tedder, Hinrichsen was lifted due to a hamstring pain and Isaiah Froneberger relieved him.
Froneberger walked Tedder, loading the bases and then catcher Torre Langley smacked a double to right center, clearing the bases to make the score 4-3. Langley (1-4, one run, four RBIs) took third on the throw home.
Alexander had a chance to tie the game, but Daniel Hester lined a shot to Panthers shortstop Josh Froneberger and he doubled off Langley at third base to end the threat.
Alexander got to Isaiah Froneberger in the fifth inning. Froneberger walked in two runs and catcher B.J. McKinney made an errant throw to pick off the baserunner which led to another run. Cougars designated hitter Jonathon Ellis singled to drive in the final two runs of the inning for the 8-4 final margin.
After scoring nine runs and getting 10 hits on Monday in the win over Riverdale, Forest Park only managed four hits off Alexander pitching. Both teams made three errors.
"We just didn't hit the ball tonight like we normally do," King said.
Forest Park's next game is a home contest Monday against Douglas County.