The Stone Memorial Panther baseball team hosted White County Tuesday night in a key District 6AAA matchup to attempt to get back .500 in the league, but due to several errors and the pitching of Ethan Roberts, the Warriors posted a 9-1 victory.
White County's leadoff batter reached on an infield error, but Panther starter Clay Wilson picked him off; however, White County could not take advantage of another Panther error.
Brian Frye led off the bottom of the first with a hit, but was thrown out at second base on Luke Matthews liner into centerfield. Wilson helped his own cause with a single, moving Matthews to second. Matthews advanced to third on a passed ball and later swiped home for the Panthers' run.
Wilson retired the side in order in the second, striking out two and catching a wicked line drive for the third out, while his teammates were retired in order in the bottom of the second.
Tyler Qualls ripped a single in the top of the third, but, again, Wilson fielded his position, by snagging another line drive.
Roberts settled down and stiffled the Panther offense.
In the top of the fourth inning, a mishandled double play led to White County tying the game at 1-1 on a sacrifice fly, while the Panthers' half of the inning ended with a double play.
White County scored twice in the top of the fifth inning for a 3-1 lead on two three-base errors, while Roberts struck out the Panthers in the bottom of the inning.
White County took advantage of several SMHS errors and a few base hits, including a triple by Blake Lynn, to push the lead to 7-1 with one out in the top of the sixth. They plated two more runs for the 9-1 advantage.
Brian Frye walked to open the sixth, but was doubled up on Matthews' shot to right field. Jason Moldenhauer grounded out to end the inning.
Wayne Burns replaced Wilson in the top of the seventh, after Wilson allowed nine runs on five hits with two strikeouts. Burns held the Warriors in the inning, but the Panthers were retired in order to end the game.
Leading the way for the Panthers were Frye (one for three), Matthews (one run scored), Moldenhauer (one for three) and Wilson (one for three with a double).
Also playing were Dalton Barnes, Grant Cooper, Jordan Proffitt, Gabe Caballero and Austin Robertson. SMHS had three first inning hits off Roberts.
The Panthers fell to 3-6 in the district, after dropping a 13-5 decision to White County in Sparta Wednesday night. SMHS is now fifth in the district behind Cookeville (7-2), CCHS (6-3), Warren County (5-4) and White County (5-4) and ahead of Rhea County 1-8).
The Panthers hosted McMinn Central Thursday night and traveled to KNox Karns tonight for a 5:00 game, before hosting Rhea County Monday at 5:30 p.m. and traveling to Rhea County Tuesday.
(Ed Greif contributed to this story.)