What looked like a sure sweep turned into an all-day affair in Tyler on Saturday afternoon. But by the time 17 innings were in the books, the Lufkin Panthers were the ones left standing as they took down the Marshall Mavericks in a Class 5A Region II Bi-District series at Tyler’s Mike Carter Field on Saturday.
After rolling to a 9-3 win in the series opener, the Panthers were three outs away from a series sweep before Marshall rallied late for a 4-3 win in 10 innings. Then after letting another lead slip away in the third and final game, Lufkin rallied for an 8-5 win to keep its season alive.
With a split in the first two games and their season down to a single game, the Panthers allowed a 4-2 lead to turn into a 5-4 deficit.
Instead of fading away, the Panthers came out swinging. Ben Osgood started the sixth inning with a one-out single before Jonathan Dewberry walked.
Luke Rowley then loaded the bases with another single.
The Panthers tied the game when Blake Lazarine hit a liner to right to make the score 5-5. Haylen Green followed with a sacrifice fly to give Lufkin the lead.
Max Quick followed with a two-run single that made it 8-5.
From there, Marshall went quietly in the sixth inning. Marshall got a one-out triple from Trel Patton in the seventh inning before Lufkin escaped any further damage to get the win.
Lufkin got on the board in the second inning when Rowley delivered a two-run single for a 2-0 lead. Marshall pulled even with a single run in each of the second and third innings.
A second two-run single by Rowley in the fourth inning gave the Panthers a 4-2 advantage. Rowley finished the game with three hits and four RBI.
Marshall came back with three runs in the fifth inning. Kolten Robertson delivered a two-run single and Cade Bickerdike had an RBI single to give the Mavericks a 5-4 advantage.
Manuel Garcia got the win on the mound by pitching the first five innings. Dillon McDuffie pitched the final two innings to pick up the save.
Panthers drop second game of series – Lufkin’s heroics came shortly after it had let a win slip through its fingers in the second game of the series. Lufkin got on the board in the third inning when Rowley delivered an RBI single. That lead grew to 2-0 on a Lazarine sacrifice fly.
After Marshall cut that margin to 2-1, Dylan Murphy delivered an RBI that made the score 3-1. That lead stayed until the bottom of the seventh inning. Facing a 3-1 deficit, Marshall took advantage of a pair of Lufkin miscues to put runners on second and third.
Cade Bickerdike then delivered a two-run single that tied the game at 3-3, sending the game into extra innings.
From there, Trel Patton delivered an RBI double in the 10th inning to seal Marshall’s 4-3 win. Kolten Eberlan took the loss on the mound for Lufkin.
Panthers roll to win in Game 1 – Before Saturday’s marathon of baseball, used a balanced offensive attack combined with strong pitching to skate to a 9-3 win over the Mavericks. Eight Lufkin hitters combined for nine hits in the win. Quick was the only Panther with multiple hits as he finished with two singles and an RBI.
Rowley contributed with a single and two RBI and Dewberry, Manuel Garcia, Adrian Pena and Osgood delivered a single and RBI each. Green added a single.
That was more than enough support for Christian Stephens, who got the win on the mound. He allowed three earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Eberlan worked the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs, walks or hits to close out the game.
The Panthers struck for two runs in the first inning with Quick and Murphy delivering back-to-back RBI singles for a 2-0 lead. Marshall trimmed the margin to 2-1 before the Panthers exploded for six runs in the fourth inning.
Garcia, Pena and Osgood had three straight RBI singles to make the score 5-1.
After Lufkin scored on a balk, Rowley delivered a two-run single that made it 8-1.
The Mavericks bounced back with two runs in the sixth inning before Lufkin closed the scoring on a Dewberry RBI single that made the final 9-3. Lufkin will resume the playoffs with an area playoff series against Waxahachie this week with all games to be played at Tyler’s Mike Carter Field.
The series starts with a 7:30 game on Thursday night and resumes with a 4:30 game on Friday afternoon. A third game, if necessary, would be played on Saturday at noon.