By JAMES A. ELLIS/For The Leader-Herald
MAYFIELD — The Mayfield Panthers made the most of the opportunities they were given Monday against Canajoharie.
A pair of fielding errors opened the door for a six-run first inning and key the Panthers’ first win of the season, 10-2 over previously unbeaten Canajoharie in Western Athletic Conference baseball at Mayfield High School.
“First win of the year, finally,” Mayfield coach Darren Graf said. “It was well deserved, well earned and very needed to keep the morale up.”
Colin Handy started on the mound for Mayfield and set the Cougars down in order in the top of the first.
The Panthers sent 10 players to the plate in the bottom of the inning, capitalizing on a pair of errors to go with three hits, a walk and a hit batter to break out to a 6-0 lead.
The Cougars got a run back in the top of the second when Quin Collins led off with a double, moved to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch to cut the score to 6-1.
Canajoharie starter Aiden Bowerman settled in to keep the Panthers hitless over the next two innings with only two runners reaching base on an error and a walk.
Canajoharie picked up a second run in the top of the fourth, with Bowerman and Collins opening the inning with back-to-back singles and stolen bases to put runners on second and third with no outs. Nicholas Barlow lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Bowerman to put the score at 6-2.
Errors again led to a big inning for the Panthers in the bottom of the fifth.
Mayfield put up four runs on singles by Zach Ginter and Kam Johnson and three errors by the Cougars to stretch its advantage to 10-2.
Handy allowed only two base runners over the final two innings and picked a runner off base to help secure the Panthers’ victory.
“We actually made no errors and this is the first game we have done that,” Graf said. “It shows in the final score that no errors can make a big difference. I can’t say enough about Colin, he threw one heck of a complete game.
“All my infielders played a heck of a game and the outfielders didn’t miss a beat either. We lacked a bit on our hitting late in the game though.”
Kam Johnson led Mayfield with two singles, while Ginter, Zack Byrns and Kristian Johnson all singled. Handy struck out three and walked one to get the complete game victory.
Collins led the Canajoharie hitters with a double and a single, while Bowerman, Antonio Fairley and Jaxon Oniel all singled.
“It was a little unlike us today. Not our typical game at all,” Canajoharie coach Justice Parker said. “We have not had a game this year where we have had more than a few errors. Kudos to Mayfield, they played a heck of a game. Their players showed up and it seemed our players stayed back in Canajoharie a little bit.”
Monday’s win for the Panthers is only the team’s third win since going winless in 2020. Graf said the players themselves have been the difference between the 2020 team and this year.
“There are some kids on this team that have stepped up to become leaders and that makes a big difference,” he said. “We are looking forward to the coming week and hopefully we can come up with another win on this field.”
Mayfield (1-4) will host Berne-Knox-Westerlo in a Western Athletic League game Wednesday before traveling to play Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville on Friday.
Canajoharie (5-1) will look to return to the win column when the Cougars host Fort Plain today and Berne-Knox-Westerlo on Thursday.
Canajoharie 010 100 0 — 2 5 6
Mayfield 600 040 x — 10 5 0