Overflow Crowd Watches as Cubs Pick Off the Panthers to Advance in the Playoffs
The South Fork High School Cubs baseball team extended their post-season in the North Coast Section Division Six playoff series Wednesday with a win over the Anderson Valley Panthers. The top seeded Cubs earned home field advantage where the bleachers overflowed to the lawn areas with a great crowd supportive fans.
After a shaky first inning adjustment period resulting in an unearned run by the 8th seeded Panthers, the top seeded Cubs, led by senior ace Scott Coffelt, ultimately handled their opponent in six innings.
The first-round game saw the return of lead-off hitter and short-stop Cooper Scott, who was benched for three weeks after suffering an injury earlier in the month. Scott, who led the team during the regular season in OBP picked up right where he left off during the regular season and went 2 for 4 with 2 stolen bases.
The Panthers were able to capitalize on some overly aggressive base running which resulted in outs at pivotal times during the first and third innings and the Cubs left bases loaded three times in the contest, but the Panther offense never gained momentum and they defensively sputtered out by the fourth inning.
To conserve pitching efforts in anticipation of a potential appearance in round two, Coach Corky Coffelt switched first baseman CJ Van Meter and Scott Coffelt in the fourth inning. Junior lefty Van Meter pitched three innings in a bright performance on the mound.
In addition to the pitching change causing problems for Anderson Valley, South Fork made outstanding defensive plays with a great effort foul-ball catch at first base by Coffelt and a hot pick-off play between Van Meter and Scott to kill a stolen base attempt at second base to end the inning.
The Panthers were never able to fully recover. Down 7-2 in the fifth inning, the Panthers made a pitching change of their own but the Cubs were able to continue to dominate at the plate with hits throughout the lineup, a homerun deep beyond the centerfield fence for Coffelt in the sixth inning and a stellar walk-off knock by spark-plug Cooper Scott ended the game 12-2.
Asked after the game how he thought his Cubbbies played, Coach Coffelt admitted, “ I was little worried when the game started but we settled and got the win. We are going to have to play better versus Laytonville on Saturday.”
In a contest that saw every player on the roster see a pitch, stand-out Junior Cody Wyatt, who caught the entire game, went 2 for 3; Sr. Coffelt 2 for 4, Jr. Van Meter 2 for 3, Jr. Scott 1 for 4; Jr. Paula 1 for 2, Fr. McConnell 1 for 2; So. Butterworth-Bignon 1 for 1; Sr. Malley 1 for 2; So. Pogue 0 for 1; Fr. Contreras 3BB; Fr. Messenger 0 for 2 and Fr. Truscott 0 for 1.
The Cubs play Saturday May 26th 1:00 at South Fork High School against the 4th seed Laytonville Warriors who defeated Pt. Arena to advance to the second round.