Leopards vs. Panthers Rivalry: Malvern wins season opener against Magnet Cove 8-3

Brandon Scott for Malvern dives toward second base to beat the throw with baseman JR Tolleson for Magnet Cove in position aiming for a tag out during baseball action Monday February 25, 2019 at the Malvern National Bank Field at Morrison Park. Photo by Gerren Smith
By: 
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

The 2019 baseball season went into full effect on Monday, February 25, 2019 at Morrison Park for the hometown Malvern Leopards hosting their Hot Spring County rival the Magnet Cove Panthers in a non-conference duel on the diamond at the Malvern National Bank Field.

Despite the cool temperatures, the Leopards secured victory 8-3 over the Panthers. Malvern begins the 2019 baseball season 1-0. At the plate, the Diamond Leopards won the bating battle to out-hit the Panthers 4-3.

The match-up was close through the third inning with Malvern and Magnet Cove tied 1-1, but the Diamond Leopards scored four key runs in the bottom of the fourth to capture a 5-1 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Panthers rallied back to close their deficit and scored two runs to trail Malvern 5-3. Malvern fell short to score in the bottom of the fifth, but held a two-run lead over Magnet Cove. In the sixth inning, Malvern stepped up defensively and held the Panthers without a run.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Leopards added three runs to take a five run lead going into the top of the seventh inning. The Leopards hung tough and closed out the game despite a mini rally offensively by Magnet Cove, but the Panthers fell short to score and Malvern prevailed.

Malvern's Brandon Scott and Micah Hollyfield led the Leopards at the plate and recorded two hits apiece. Scott and Hollyfield each also had a double. Scott had four RBI's and Colby Bergan had one RBI. Parker Freer scored three runs, Jacobe Hart scored two runs, Malaki Asher, Braxton Allen and Scott each scored a run apiece. Freer led the bases with two stolen bases, Asher, Allen and Scott each had one stolen base apiece.

At the mound, Hollyfield pitched four innings, allowed two hits, three runs, six walks and struck out six batters. Freer pitched two innings, allowed one hit, no runs, walked three and struck out four batters for Malvern.

Magnet Cove had three pitchers to bring the heat from mound of Justin McKim, Brennon Koller and Javin Shirley against Malvern.

Defensively, the Leopards held the Panthers scoreless in the first, second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings. Magnet Cove kept Malvern scoreless in the second, third and fifth innings.

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