With a key district battle hanging in the balance, the Lufkin Panthers’ baseball team spent the entire night trailing against the Whitehouse Wildcats. Fortunately for them, the Panthers led the game when it mattered most.
Max Quick delivered a walk-off single to score Luke Rowley with the game-winning run as the Panthers rallied for a 3-2 victory in District 16-5A action at Morris Frank Park on Tuesday night.
That single capped off a two-run rally in the seventh inning after the Panthers had trailed since the top of the first inning.
Logan Lair was rewarded for a gritty effort as he picked up the win. He pitched seven innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts and no walks.
He was able to keep his team in the game on a night Whitehouse stranded at least one runner in every inning.
That allowed Lufkin to set up its final rally.
Jonathan Dewberry and Rowley started the inning with back-to-back singles before Blake Lazarine loaded the bases with a walk.
Dylan Murphy followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
That brought Quick to the plate, who came through with an RBI single, his second one of the night to give the Panthers a 3-2 win.
Whitehouse took the lead in the top of the first inning when Mason House delivered an RBI single.
Landry Mayo, who was a tough-luck loser on the mound for Whitehouse, gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
The Panthers, who stranded six runners in the first four innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the fourth, finally struck for a run in the fifth inning.
Dewberry led off the inning with a single then advanced to second on a Rowley groundout.
Quick then came through with a clutch two-out RBI single that narrowed the margin to 2-1.
Lufkin was retired in order in the sixth inning before rallying in the seventh inning for the win.
Hitters for Lufkin were Quick (3 singles, 2 RBI), Murphy (2 singles, RBI), Dewberry (2 singles) and Manuel Garcia and Rowley (single).
Mayo took the loss for Whitehouse, allowing three earned runs on nine hits with four walks and three strikeouts in a complete game effort.
Lufkin will travel to Tyler to meet the John Tyler Lions on Friday night.