Panthers On The Prowl With Two Wins In Mesa

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In Apache Junction Senior League play at Prospector Park, the Payson Panthers -- formerly the Grays -- swept a double-header from Mesa Viewpoint, 10-8 and 12-0.


The twin wins upped the Panthers league record to 5-3.


Panthers player and spokesman Ron Maksymowksi attributed the pair of victories to stellar defense play in the outfield by Ralph Bossert, Fran Doering, Frank Adams and Walt Knascik.


"Defense was the key," Maksymowksi said.


Also contributing to the win was a rock-solid infield led by Ken Cheeseman that turned three double plays in the second game.


Offensively, the Panthers were led by Tom Neblett who finished with five hits including three triples. Dave Crowell clubbed two doubles among his four hits.


Neil McVicar was the winning pitcher in the first game and Neblett in the second.

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In senior league play involving the Prospectors team with players from both Payson and Prescott -- the "PrePay" team, as they've been tagged --split a double header with the Mesa Hawks.


The Hawks soared to a 16-7 win, but the Prospectors rebounded in the nightcap for a 5-4 win.


In the opener, Mesa scored 10 runs in the first two frames and never looked back. McVicar absorbed the pitching loss.


The second game's outcome hinged on the defensive play of the Prospectors and the team responded by turning in an error-free effort, Maksymowksi said.


Maksymowski cited defenders Vern Stearns, Earl Davis, Don Besolk and Knascik for their contributions.


Dick Johnson, Don McPeek, Don Collins and Cheeseman finished with four hits each.

Johnson was the winning hurler in the second game.

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