A slow start merely served as a speed bump for the Lufkin Panthers as they overcame a five-run deficit to rally for a 7-5 win over the Hallsville Bobcats in the opening game of a Class 5A Region II Quarterfinal series at Tyler’s Mike Carter Field. After Lufkin gave up three runs in the first inning and two more in the second, Tanner Green entered in relief to pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Panthers’ offense made that effort pay off as they used a four-run sixth inning to rally for a two-run win and move within a single victory of the regional semifinals. Lufkin’s offense was led by Jonathan Dewberry, who had four hits and drove in two runs.
Max Quick added an inside the park homer and drove in three runs. Hallsville looked like it would be on its way to an easy win in the early going when Colten Oberthier delivered a three-run triple to put the Pack in a 3-0 hole before it even came to the plate.
Things got worse in the second inning when Jarrett Wynne delivered an RBI single and Logan Durrett had a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. The Panthers finally got on the board in the fourth inning with Dewberry and Luke Rowley hitting back-to-back singles. Quick then delivered his inside the park home run to get Lufkin back in the game at 5-3. Lufkin then broke free for four runs in the sixth inning.
Dylan Murphy started the rally with a single before Adrian Pena delivered a single of his own. The Panthers then used a two-out rally to take control of the game. Dewberry delivered a two-run single that knotted the game at 5-5.
Rowley drew a walk and Blake Lazarine came through with a clutch RBI single that gave Lufkin its first lead of the game at 6-5. The Panthers scored their seventh run on a balk. Green then retired the side in order in the seventh inning to cap off the win.
He finished the game allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three in 5 2/3 innings. Lufkin will look to close out the series as it plays the second game tonight at 6 at Tyler’s Mike Carter Field. A third game, if necessary, would be played 30 minutes following the conclusion of the second game.