Two-run single does Panthers in

SAFE AT HOME? Lawrence Park’s Andrew Aguanno slides into Harbord’s catcher Emitt MacLeod while trying to steal home during a game between the schools on May 18. Unfortunately for the Panthers, pitcher Aguanno couldn’t beat the throw and was tagged out.

Lawrence Park maintains confidence in 5-4 loss

In a battle of top diamond predators, it took a two-run single to break Lawrence Park Panthers two-scratch lead over Harbord Tigers.

But by no means does the 5-4 loss to the visiting downtown school spell the end for his team, said Panthers coach Scott Manuel.

“Everyone makes the playoffs,” he said. “They try to get the players as much playing time as possible.”

Bursting out of the gates, Harbord scored one run on a stolen plate, but would soon be down three as the Panthers smacked Tigers pitcher Wyatt Fine-Gagne around.

Up until the top of the fourth, the Panthers stayed steely on both the mound and basepaths.

“Our pitcher, Andrew Aguanno, pitched really well and we had some good defensive plays in the infield,” Manuel said. “Defensively, a lot of our players made a few key plays in the outfield and in the infield.”

Second baseman Oliver Howlett dug up the ball on two hard hit liners to the right side.

Aguanno commended his team’s infield.

“We played pretty well,” he said. “We got through some of the first few inning pretty easily so it was a good game.”

However, in the fourth inning the calm dissipated.

Aguanno ran into a snare walking the lead-off batter, then gave up a looper that loaded the bags.

After an infield fly, Wilson Wang’s shot to the outfield was muffed, leading Fine-Gagne and Julian Iacobelli to score. This tied the game at threes.

Scoring one in the bottom of that same inning, the Gold and Blue admitted their problem is sealing the deal.

In the sixth, Harbord’s John Slater cashed in two on a deep single.

“We’ve had trouble finishing games this year, but we’re saving it for the playoffs,” Aguanno said. “That’s how we usually do it in most sports at Lawrence Park.

“Usually we shock in the playoffs so hopefully we can play big.”

Playoff action for the South Region Tier 1 league will start May 25.

Although nerve-wracking, Tigers coach Greg Smith noted his charges’ stamina tends to win games for him.

“It’s funny because every win we have this year has been a comeback,” he said. “It’s sort of the way we do things this year, which has been really stressful but exciting.”

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