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Panthers look to get back on track after loss to West Florida Tech

They gave up 10 of those runs in the first inning as a result of a combination of errors, walks and big hits that allowed West Florida Tech to take command.

“We couldn’t get out of our own way for a minute,” head coach Keith Little said. “It’s crazy. Fifteen batters in one inning. Just a crazy night for baseball.”

Things settled down after that inning as the Panthers and Jaguars pretty much played each other even.

“I thought we played hard. It’s one of those games you have to learn from and move forward,” Little said.

Though it was one of those nights a team would like to soon forget, the chance to play on the same field as the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins was something Little thought was good for his players, even on a cool, wind-swept evening.

“The atmosphere is great and everyone got in tonight. It’s a good experience,” Little said. “We just have to wash the loss away and move on. We have to pitch and play better defense. They know that. I don’t have to tell them. It’s about how we respond now.”

At point early in the year Milton dropped six consecutive games and hope seemed lost.

The Panthers (8-8), however, never lost faith, and that belief soon translated to wins.

“They handled everything well and kept working, Little said. “They’ve come to the field ready to play.”

Parker McCoy, Sayler Melton and Emmett Battles have been among the hitting leaders, all hitting .333 or better, according to the latest MaxPreps stats. Cade Burdette is hitting .323 and Matt Simmons is batting .292.

Despite the way the game against the Jaguars went, Little said he is optimistic about the team moving forward, especially based on its recent run of success.

“I’m really happy with the way we are playing other than that one inning (against West Florida Tech),” Little said. “The best thing about baseball is you don’t have to wait a week to play again. You get to play in a couple of days and can get back at it.”

Milton has just a handful of games left, with its regular season wrapping up April 24 against Crestview. The District 1-6A tournament will follow starting April 29.

“We’ll look to get rolling again. I like where we are going as a team,” Little said. “I think we’re going in the right direction. We just have to stay positive.”


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