ORANGEBURG, SC (April 15, 2023) – The Claflin Panthers (1-33, 0-23 PBC) played their best game of the season, but the team came up just short in a heartbreaking 7-5 loss to the Georgia College & State Bobcats (16-20, 13-9 PBC), Saturday. The Panthers carried a 5-4 lead into the ninth inning, but the team allowed three runs to the Bobcats to take the hard-fought loss.
The Panthers combined some great defense with an unrelenting offense to claim the win. As a team, the Panthers totaled 10 hits in the game. Claflin senior outfielder Kobe Miller recorded a two-for-four batting performance with a home run while sophomore short stop Joshua Cooper added a two-for-three batting effort of his own.
The game was a classic from the very beginning. After allowing an opening inning run to the Bobcats, the Panthers added a run of their own when catcher Michael Bailey scored on a GCSU fielding error. The Panthers allowed three more unanswered runs to the Bobcats before beginning their rally. It was Miller who got things started with a seventh-inning solo home run that was followed by an RBI single from outfielder Jelani Howard and a Bailey bases-loaded hit-by-pitch that tied the game. In the eighth inning, senior designated hitter Da’Avion Sumpter hit into an RBI double-play that gave the Panthers a 5-4 lead heading into the ninth inning. Unfortunately, the Panthers allowed three unanswered ninth-inning runs to the Bobcats to take the 7-5 loss.
Claflin senior Charles Jackson (0-8) started the game and took the pitching loss. He had a tremendous day throwing 8.1 innings and recording nine strikeouts in the game. Junior Roman Woods-Golston came in for 0.2 innings and he finished with a strikeout of his own.
With the loss, the Panthers fall to 1-33 overall and 0-23 in Peach Belt Conference play. The two teams will return tomorrow to face off in a Senior Day single game. For more information on Panthers baseball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics Media Relations at (803) 535-5548 or log on to www.athletics.claflin.edu.