Created: April 13, 2022 11:02 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- Pine Island baseball saw its season dashed by Caledonia one year ago.
This year, the Panthers got payback through an excellent day from pitcher Johnny Bauer.
"It was extremely important to both me and the team," Bauer discussed. "So, obviously losing the last game last year to Caledonia and then -- we actually lost to them twice last year. So hopefully, we can build on that momentum and keep the win streak going."
Bauer fanned 12 in Pine Island’s season opener last Saturday, not letting a single run through in a shutout victory.
"This is a pretty sweet one and really sweet for Johnny Bauer," head coach Dan Drazan said after the game. "He had an arm injury early in last year, and he was not able to throw very much for us last year. So this is huge for him, great start for the season."
The senior pitcher wasn’t always in the clear against Caledonia; his shutout was in trouble during the sixth inning with the bases loaded.
"It was, yeah, it was bases loaded and I just managed to get out of it," Bauer chuckled. "So I was, I was happy that I got out of that one. So, it was good."
"You know, Johnny’s just a matter of – he’s a kid that keeps his composure no matter the situation," Coach Drazan praised. "He’s kind of a flatliner, doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low. So, he had to calm down the nerves there a little bit there and I had no doubt he’d go out there and take care of business for us."
With his resume on the mound proven, it’s his swing that he wants to unleash next; as he looks forward to pushing the panthers into a better finish than last year.
"I’d definitely like to hit a couple of home runs this year," Bauer concluded. "I’ve been working out this winter and I think I’ve definitely developed the power to do it. I wasn’t able to last year, but I did a couple of times in practice. But I think this year, if I could hit a couple of home runs out of the park, that would be great."
Copyright 2022 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company