On the opening day of the Pete Runnels tournament, the Lufkin Panthers used the combination of timely hitting and solid pitching to roll to a pair of wins over Houston Westside and Nacogdoches.
The Panthers started the day in exciting fashion as they scored three sixth-inning runs to escape with a 4-2 win over Westside.
Trailing 2-1 in the sixth inning, Tanner Green hit a ball that was misplayed in right field, allowing Lufkin to score a pair of runs for a 3-2 lead. Clayton Corley then delivered an RBI single before the game was called due to the tournament’s two-hour time limit.
Corley also got the win on the mound for the Panthers as he worked the final two innings, allowing no runs with a pair of walks and a hit while striking out two.
Dillon McDuffie started the game and pitched the first four innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four.
Jonathan Dewberry and Davis Powell each had a pair of singles for Lufkin. Green and Corley each had a double and an RBI, and Quick had a single and an RBI.
Lufkin got on the board in the first inning when Dewberry scored on a Quick fielder’s choice to make the score 1-0.
Westside answered with two runs in the third inning and held that lead until the sixth inning when Lufkin was able to escape with the win.
The second game wasn’t quite as dramatic as the Panthers struck early and often on their way to taking down long-time rival Nacogdoches.
Kolton Eberlan got the win on the mound for the Pack as he worked the first five innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.
Dylan Murphy pitched a perfect sixth inning to close out the win.
McDuffie led the Panthers at the plate with a pair of singles and two RBI. Dewberry had two singles and an RBI and Quick had a single and an RBI. Murphy and Corley each delivered a single and Clayton Gesford drove in a run.
After Nacogdoches took an early 1-0 lead, Lufkin’s Quick tied the game on an RBI single in the bottom half of the first inning.
The Panthers took the lead for good in the second inning when McDuffie and Dewberry delivered RBI singles to make the score 3-1.
Nacogdoches trimmed that margin to 3-2 with a run in the third inning before Lufkin was finally able to put the game away by scoring two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.
Gesford got Lufkin back on the board with a sacrifice and Green drove in a run on a fielder’s choice to make it 5-2.
In the sixth inning, McDuffie delivered an RBI single and Davis Powell drove in a run with a sacrifice before the game was called due to the tournament’s time limit.
With the wins, Lufkin moved its winning streak to four games and improved to 7-3 on the season.