Looking to guarantee the second seed in District 16-5A and a Senior Night win, the Lufkin Panthers fell into an early 2-0 hole before rallying late to capture a 6-2 victory over the Jacksonville Indians at Morris Frank Park Friday night.
After tying the game just before a lengthy lightning delay, the Panthers rallied for four runs to finish district action alone in second place in 16-5A.
Manuel Garcia got the win on the mound for the Panthers, allowing two earned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and no walks in five innings of action.
Kolten Eberlan worked the final two innings to get the save, allowing no runs on no hits with no walks with a strikeout.
Adrain Pena led the Lufkin hitting with a double, single and two RBI. Luke Rowley and Adrian Cantu each had a pair of hits and Stephen Jaraguchi and Conner Hanks each had a hit and an RBI.
Max Quick and Ben Osgood each had a single.
Lufkin fell into a 2-0 hole before it even came to the plate as Jacksonville had five straight singles to start the game. However, that proved to be Jacksonville’s only real offensive threat of the night.
Lufkin struggled to get its offensive attack going as it stranded four runners in the first three innings.
The Panthers finally got on the board in the fourth inning when Manuel Garcia reached on an error and Cantu singled.
Jaraguchi delivered an RBI double and Hanks drove in a run with a squeeze bunt to knot the game at 2-2.
After the Panthers tied the game, the teams waited out a lengthy delay due to lightning in the area.
When they returned to action, Lufkin didn’t miss a beat, plating two more runs in the fifth inning.
Quick hit a single and Haylen Green walked before Garcia delivered a two-run single to give the Pack a 4-2 lead.
The Panthers closed out the scoring in the sixth inning when Pena delivered a two-run single to make the final 6-2.
Lufkin now awaits its first-round opponent as it will take on Hallsville or Marshall in the first round of the playoffs later this week. A date, time and site for that playoff will be set later in the week.