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A look back at sports: Monti Panthers Rally to Beat Goshen, 5-1

Nathan Mayberg
Posted 4/22/22

MONTICELLO - The host Monticello Panthers knocked off division rival Goshen Monday afternoon 5-1, courtesy of a three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The offensive spark followed what …

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A look back at sports: Monti Panthers Rally to Beat Goshen, 5-1

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MONTICELLO - The host Monticello Panthers knocked off division rival Goshen Monday afternoon 5-1, courtesy of a three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The offensive spark followed what had been an intense pitchers’ duel between two southpaws - Monti sophomore Mike Hughes and Goshen’s B.J. Hern.

Hughes pitched a complete game, striking out five and allowing four hits.

Goshen Coach Matt Sass cited the pitching performance by Hughes as the difference in the ballgame.

“He had a good command, switched speeds and kept us off balance,” Sass said. “My hat is off to him, he pitched a very good game.”

Hearn pitched the whole game as well. He struck out six batters, but was more effective in the first four innings, when he was bidding for a shutout.

With the victory, Monticello improved to 2-4 overall and 1-0 in Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division III. Goshen fell to 3-4 overall and 0-1 in Division III.

The Gladiators shot out to a quick start on an RBI double by Hearn, who went 2-for-3 on the afternoon. However, that was all of the run production the Gladiators could muster.

In addition to pitching well and sporting a tricky pick-off move, Hughes had a solid defense behind him throughout the game. Monti third baseman Trevor Gavin displayed good fundamentals as well as a strong arm. Centerfielder Jesus Rodriguez was exceptional, as he recorded a putout and made a nice catch going back towards the fence. Catcher Joshua Cohen threw out a Goshen runner who was attempting to steal a base.

Goshen’s defense was also sound, particularly at the corners.

The turning point came in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Monticello was trailing 1-0. Gavin nailed a double and then moved to third on a bunt single by Rodriguez. Cohen drove Gavin in with a single to the outfield, which knotted the score at 1-1. Rodriguez then scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly.

Monticello added another run in the frame and two insurance runs in the sixth inning.

Gavin went 3-for-3, ripping a double and two singles. He also had an RBI. Cohen had two hits and an RBI.

Monticello Coach John Speer was pleased with his team’s performance.

“The field umpire said this isn’t the same team [he saw last week],” Speer said.

A week earlier, the Panthers were swept by a tough Sullivan West team, and lost in extra innings to James O’Neill.

The veteran coach noted that there was a team talk and a player’s-only meeting as well before Monday’s game with Goshen.

Speer said the team is full of potential. Monticello has five pitchers, which gives Speer a luxury of choices. He is hopeful the team can reach the sectional tournament, although he said there is “a long ways to go.”

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