Panthers split with Oxford in preseason baseball

OXFORD – Amory baseball got off to a chilly start with two four-inning preseason games amid a mix of snow and wind at Oxford on Saturday.
The Panthers blanked Oxford 3-0 in the first game but were shutout and held to one hit in a 5-0 loss in the second game.
“It’s cold for both teams. It’s not really baseball weather when you’re standing out here and snow is coming down,” Amory coach Chad Williams. “I thought both teams did a good job of getting after it. Some younger guys came in for us, and everybody got a look. That was the most important thing.”
One of the biggest areas Williams got to look at his team in on Saturday was pitching as Amory used 10 pitchers in the eight innings against the Chargers.
In the first game, Destin Hahn, Collin McCrory, Cole Robinson and Ben Oswalt each threw a scoreless frame, while Tanner Poole and Jon David Poss started off the second game with a scoreless inning each.
In the first six innings of the doubleheader, the Panthers allowed just two hits and four walks.
“I don’t know how confident I can be yet because I only left them in there for one inning apiece,” Williams said of his pitching. “But the reason we did that was so we could have a look at everyone, and also because as cold as it is, we’re trying to stay injury free.”
In the first game, Hayden Williams led off the second with a double and went to third on an Oxford error. He scored later in the inning on a passed ball.
Poole hit a one-out single in the third, and Daniel Simpson and Williams loaded the bases up after both were hit by a pitch. Poss and Jake Childers each drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in two more runs for Amory.
Williams said he would have liked for his team to hit better in the two warmup games but was satisifed by the lack of strikeouts.
“We didn’t drive the ball really well today, but I was pleased because I think we only struck out three times. That’s not bad at all, especially early in the season,” Williams said. “Usually the pitching is ahead of the hitting, so when you strike out only three times in eight innings, that’s not bad.”
The Panthers return the majority of their starters from last season, losing just three senior starters.
Amory officially opens up its season on Friday with a trip to New Hope and will visit county rival Smithville on Saturday.