The Paola Panthers rode the wave of one big inning to defeat the Fort Scott Indians 7-2 Saturday afternoon in the Fort Scott Community College Summer Showcase at LaRoche Field.
Paola plated five runs in the decisive fourth inning, managing four hits and taking advantage of two walks and a hit batter.
The big hit came off the bat of Panther catcher Trevor Boehm, who knocked in two runs with a single.
Starting pitcher Drew Smith made the runs stand up, limiting Fort Scott to just four hits and one run over five strong innings.
Neither team managed to score in the first three innings.
Paola nearly did in the second, managing to load the bases with two outs, but Indian hurler Colby Page got out of the jam unscathed.
In the bottom of the third, the Panthers had runners on first and third with two outs. With two strikes on Justin Hieber, Blaine Ohlmeier broke for home in what appeared to be a straight steal of home.
Page delivered to catcher Grant Goldston to nail Ohlmeier at the plate, ending the inning.
Fort Scott got onto the scoreboard first, in the top of the fourth inning.
Leadoff hitter Marcus Jamison drew a walk and advanced to second on Goldston’s single. Both runners moved up on Chase Brown’s sacrifice.
Indian designated hitter Carter Young singled into right field, scoring Jamison. However, on the play, pinch runner DeVonte Robinson was thrown out trying to advance to third.
Fort Scott held a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
Having nearly scored in two previous innings, it looked like they would do the same in the bottom half of the fourth.
Hieber managed a walk. Blaine Hanf knocked a double to left field.
Hieber was gunned down at the plate on a perfect throw from Jamison in left field.
The Panthers managed to load the bases again, with only one out, and Nate Dreiling came through with a run-scoring fielder’s choice, tying the game.
A second run scored on a wild pitch, giving Paola a 2-1 lead.
Down one and having recorded two outs in the inning, Page looked like he was going to minimize the damage, but Ohlmeier drew a walk to reload the bases.
Panther third baseman Donovan Sutton drove in Dreiling with a single to right, then Boehm gave Paola a 5-1 lead with a two-run single.
The Panthers added another run in the fifth, but this one came with a little controversy.
With two outs and runners on first and second, it appeared that Page had picked off the runner at first, but the umpire saw it differently.
With a second life in the inning, Paola got back-to-back singles by Smith and Dreiling to tack on another run, making the score 6-1.
Fort Scott got a run back in the top of the sixth, with a single by Brown scoring shortstop Tyler Gorman.
Paola got that run back in the bottom half of the inning, and Ohlmeier went the last 1 2/3 innings to close out the game, giving the Panthers the 7-2 victory.
The Panthers managed 11 hits in the game and were lead offensively by Boehm, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, first baseman Dalton Rankin, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Kurt Golubski, who went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Dreiling added 2 RBIs as well.
Fort Scott was lead offensively by Goldston, who went 2-for-2, Carter Young, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI, and Gorman, who was 1-for-2 on the day with an RBI.