HANOVER, Ind. -- Defiance looked poised to record its first league win of the season on Friday at Hanover, before the Panthers rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to take the come from behind 7-6 victory.
The Yellow Jackets grabbed the lead with two runs in the top of the first, but Hanover evened the score with a pair in the bottom of the third. DC struck for two more in the fourth as Keith Wade and Brent James singled to start the rally. The Jackets bunted the runners into scoring position and took the lead on an RBI sacrifice fly by Alex Timofeev. Ben Gates then padded the lead, scoring James on a double to left field to give DC the 4-2 advantage.
Defiance tacked on an unearned run in the seventh and the lead swelled to 6-2 when David Jackson homered to lead off the eighth inning.
The Panthers answered with a home run of their own in their next at bat to trim the gap to 6-3, and end the day on the mound for Aaron Stewart. Pat McKee got the final out in the eighth inning without allowing any further damage.
The Defiance bullpen would then set the stage for the four-run Hanover outburst in the ninth by hitting two of the first three batters in the inning. A Clay Slaughter double would make it a 6-4 game and put the tying run in scoring position with only one out.
The Jackets turned to Brad Timofeev to try to slam the door, but he was greeted by a game-tying double off the bat of Nik Kahl. A walk and a fielders choice put runners on the corners with two outs, before a Tim Pitro error on a potential inning-ending grounder allowed the game-winning run to race home.
Aaron Stewart tossed 7.2 innings and struck out five Panther batters, while allowing only three runs. Timofeev took the loss in relief, despite only yielding the one unearned run.
Jackson (2-5, HR) and Gates (2-3) led the Yellow Jacket offense which posted six runs on nine hits for the day. The attack was spread out up and down the lineup, as seven different players hit safely.
Defiance (4-14, 0-9 HCAC) will play a pair of games at Hanover on Saturday, starting at noon.