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Pine Ridge Finds Winning Ways Again After Tough Start

Kenneth Capria rounds third base before holding up, during a win this season against the Deltona Wolves on March 5th. Capria leads the team in batting through 11 games, and has also gone 2-1 on the mound. Photo by @PineRidgeHighSchool.

It was a tough start to the 2024 season for the Pine Ridge Panthers, as the team lost is first four ball games to begin in a big hole with an 0-4 record. But the Panthers responded to that adversity to turn their season back around.

Pine Ridge rattled off four straight wins to even their record back up, and then bounced back from a tough 2-1 loss to the Trinity Christian Eagles by winning their next two games. With their 3-2 victory over the Father Lopez Green Wave on Friday, March 15th, the Panthers (6-5) have earned their first winning mark of the year.

Junior Kenneth Capria came through with a complete-game performance on the mound to hold off the Green Wave (6-5), continuing a trend of strong play from the Panthers’ pitching staff. Capria allowed one earned run on six hits and two walks over seven innings to improve his season record to 2-1, and he recorded five strikeouts to now have 15 punchouts in 24.2 innings pitched this year.

Junior Loren Cheatham leads the team in strikeouts, and has gone 3-1 in his first four starts this season. Photo by @PineRidgeHighSchool.

That mark is actually the second-highest on the club, as fellow junior Loren Cheatham has 18 strikeouts in 19 innings lead the team in that department. Cheatham has gone 3-1 in his first four starts this season, and he has only issued three walks and allowed three earned runs.

Capria has also been a big part of the offensive production, as the current batting leader on the team with a .382 average. He has also hit for nice power, going 13-for-34 with two doubles and a triple.

Sophomore Sam Figueroa has also been a key producer, tying for the team lead with 13 hits in 35 at bats. He has five RBI and three doubles, and has scored three runs.

Photo by @PineRidgeHighSchool.

Pine Ridge faces perhaps its toughest challenge of the season in traveling to take on the Lake Mary Rams on Monday. But this is also nothing new for the Panthers, who have a very challenging schedule this season. Their opponents so far have combined to go 50-40, with five of those teams also above .500 to this point in the action.

It certainly never hurts to be playing at your best when it is needed the most.

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