The baseball looks the size of a watermelon to the Mead Panthers baseball team.
Especially the last two games.
A day after Mead put up 26 runs, the Panthers swung the bats well again, handling the Shadle Park Highlanders 12-4 in a Greater Spokane League game Friday at Al K. Jackson Field.
Shortstop and leadoff hitter Paul Miller followed up a 4-for-6 effort with six RBIs by going 3 for 4 with four RBIs including a two-run homer.
Skyler Lookabill and Ryan Roberts, who bat second and third in Mead’s lineup, also collected three hits.
“Right now the whole team, like coach said in postgame, confidence is a big key and that’s what we got the last two games,” Miller said. “We’ve got the talent, we’ve got young guys, and now we’re seeing the ball like we should be. We went down to Pendleton (Ore.) and struggled and we went to Ferris and struggled. I think it was a matter of the young guys getting their feet wet and hitting that learning curve. We’re hitting our stride right now.”
Mead scored its first run in the second on a wild pitch. Miller hit his homer in the fourth to put the Panthers (3-3) ahead 3-0.
Danny Rowton led off the bottom of the inning for Shadle (4-2) with a homer.
The roof caved in for the Highlanders in the fifth when Mead scored six runs on five hits. The Panthers batted around as Miller, Lookabill and Roberts each had run-scoring singles.
“It was a good ballgame for half of it and all of a sudden their balls seemed to drop and our balls seemed to find eyes,” Shadle coach Ron Brooks said.
Mead coach Jason Reich knew his team’s hitting would come.
“We knew we could hit, but we knew it was going to take some time to adjust,” Reich said. “We’ve been inside more than outside at times. We figured once we got outside consistently and started seeing some pitching that we’d start swinging it a little bit.”
“I think we were a little shaky at the start of the season,” Miller said. “Now everything is coming together and the guys are believing in themselves. I think it’s going to be a fun stretch (in league).”
Shadle opened league with four consecutive wins but has lost two straight. Brooks isn’t alarmed.
“We were playing very well, but right now we’re in a little rut,” Brooks said. “We’ll work through this.”
In other GSL games, Gonzaga Prep (6-0) topped Central Valley (1-5) 6-4, Mt. Spokane (4-2) beat Rogers (1-6) 14-3, University (4-2) edged North Central (1-6) 3-1 and Ferris (6-1) thumped Lewis and Clark (2-5) 20-4.