GLEN DALE - Buckeye Local wasted little time in making its final push for the last OVAC Class 4A baseball tournament spot Tuesday afternoon.
Eric Williams' grand slam capped a seven-run first inning and the Panthers cruised to a 16-0, five-inning triumph against John Marshall at Monarch Field.
''The players were tired of getting behind all the time, so we decided to jump out and get a big lead,'' Buckeye Local head coach Rick DeLuca said.
The Panthers' opening salvo was just the prelude of what ended up being a 14-hit performance.
''We hit the ball hard,'' DeLuca noted, ''and that grand slam didn't hurt anything.''
After three straight nailbiters, the Panthers quickly put away the Monarchs (5-5), who edged Wheeling Central at home Monday.
Before John Marshall could record an out, Buckeye Local sent seven batters to the plate, scored seven runs and chased Monarchs starter Donovan Whipkey from the hill.
''We tried a new pitcher and it just didn't work out for him,'' said JM assistant coach Roger Simmons, filling in for an ill head coach Bob Montgomery. ''He battled. It just got away from him.
''They have a nice team.''
The Monarchs limited the Panthers (6-8) to one run in the second, but Buckeye Local batted around again in the third, this time plating six runs seizing control for good.
Outside of Williams' homer, Buckeye Local spread the wealth offensively, which pleased DeLuca.
''We were able to get a lot of kids involved,'' he said.
Brandon Panepucci finished with two singles and three RBIs for the panthers, while Eric Banal had two singles and an RBI. Chase Hopkins, Derek Sebring and Jonathan Borkoski all doubled and plated a run, while Josh Figurski slapped two singles.
''We need this one really bad,'' DeLuca said. ''To bounce back from (Monday) was big for these kids.''
DeLuca was referring to a 3-2 loss to Bellaire. The Panthers visit the All-American Town today for a rematch.
Coming into Tuesday, Buckeye Local trailed Harrison Central for the final spot. The Huskies also won Tuesday, beating Beaver Local.
The way DeLuca looks at it, his team can only control what it can - it's own play.
''We have to win, there's no question about it,'' he said. ''If we lose, it doesn't make any difference what anyone else does.''
John Marshall, too, remains on the outside looking in the 5A standings.
''We'll just have to get back at it,'' Simmons said. ''That's the good thing about baseball. We play a bunch more times this week.''
Buckeye Local 16, John Marshall 0
Buckeye Local 716 11 - 16 14 2
John Marshall 000 00 - 0 3 1
BUCKEYE LOCAL: Williams (WP, 3K, 1W) and Sebring. Hopkins D, RBI; Kaiser S, RBI; Banal 2S, RBI; Borkoski D, RBI; Panepucci 2S, 3RBI; Sebring D, RBI; Williams GS, S, 4RBI; Hillman RBI; Figurski 2S.
JOHN MARSHALL: Whipkey (LP, 0K, 4W), Filben (3K, 4W) and Yocum and Blatt (4).