A rough stretch of early district action left the Lufkin Panthers on the wrong side of another game on Friday night as Oak Ridge’s Jacory Boudreaux was strong on the mound and the War Eagles broke open a tight game with three fifth-inning runs on their way to a 5-2 win at Morris Frank Park.
With an incoming storm causing the game to moved up by three hours, Oak Ridge was ready for the occasion as it picked up a pivotal win, the first in district action for a team expected to make some noise in 16-5A.
Boudreaux allowed two earned runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
That was enough to outduel Lufkin’s Tanner Green, who pitched the first 4 1/3 innings in taking the loss. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts.
Kolton Eberlan got the final two outs of the fifth inning with a walk and a strikeout.
Clayton Corley pitched the final two innings, giving up no runs on a hit with three strikeouts.
Dylan Murphy had a big night at the plate with a pair of singles and two RBI while Jonathan Dewberry continued his hot hitting with a pair of singles. Dillon McDuffie had a pair of hits and Davis Powell added a hit.
Oak Ridge took control of the game early on by plating two runs before Lufkin had a chance to come to the plate as the War Eagles had two hits to go along with a Lufkin error for the early 2-0 lead.
Lufkin cut that lead in half in the bottom of the inning with Dewberry leading off with a double and moving to third on a Powell single before scoring on Murphy’s sacrifice fly.
The game stayed that way until the fifth inning when Oak Ridge finally found a bit of breathing room.
In that inning, Oak Ridge scored three runs as it batted around the lineup. The War Eagles used a triple, single, two walks, a hit batter and an error to score three runs, extending that margin to 5-1.
Lufkin scratched out a run in the bottom of the inning with McDuffie leading off with a single and eventually scoring on a two-out single by Murphy, making the score 5-2.
The Panthers had one final chance in the bottom of the seventh inning as they brought the potential tying run to the plate after back-to-back singles by McDuffie and Dewberry.
However a fly out ended the Pack’s threat, sending the Panthers to a 1-3 start to district action.
Meanwhile Oak Ridge improved to 13-6 overall and 1-3 in district.
The Panthers will close out the opening round of district on Saturday as they travel to face The Woodlands.