MERRILL - The SPASH Panthers (5-1, 1-0) baseball team raced out to an eight-run lead through the first five innings, traded runs in the sixth and seventh inning, and claimed its first Wisconsin Valley Conference win of the season in Merrill (5-2, 3-1), beating the Bluejays 9-1 on Tuesday.
The Panthers took advantage of three sacrifice fly balls by Deacan Koback, Kale Roth, and Riley Warzynski. A seventh-inning home run off the bat of Kaleb Mayer put the cherry on top of the game for SPASH.
Kaden Thauer picked up the win from the mound for SPASH, working five innings and striking out six. Merrill's Henry Reiman was the losing pitcher of record, striking out three and giving up three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The two teams meet again on Wednesday in Stevens Point at Bukolt Park with first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m.