By Jason Marek
The Panther Varsity baseball team began district play this past week with a solid performance against the Randolph Ro-hawks in San Antonio. Blanco scored early and often and used a ten-run fourth inning to put away the Ro-hawks by the score of 22 to 1. In their eleventh victory of the season, the Panthers collected eighteen hits while committing just one error on defense. Senior Blake West picked up his third win of the year, while Grady Childress and Keaton Dodd closed out the game in the final two innings. Offensively, John Pepper finished the night with five hits in five at-bats, scoring three runs and driving in three more.
Following their strong offensive showing at Randolph, the Panthers looked primed to take on the Comfort Bobcats. However, Comfort limited Blanco to just four hits, while seven Panther errors added to Blanco’s woes, as the Panthers were defeated 14 to 4. Blanco was forced to use five pitchers on the night. Despite the loss, Tyler Tredaway had a strong performance at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.
The Panthers are currently in third place at 1 and 1 in district play behind Comfort and Johnson City, who are each undefeated. Blanco continued with district play this week when they traveled to Johnson City on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. game. Blanco will then return home to host Cole on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. to conclude the first round of district play.
By Diana Schwind
The Lady Panthers trounced the Harper Lady Horns, 16-0, in their first district game of the season on Tuesday, March 23.
The Blanco pitchers combined their efforts for a perfect game, allowing no hits, no runs, and no walks. Callie Culton pitched the first two innings with two strike-outs. Chandler Ashley pitched the third inning to close the game as the Panthers forced a shortened game with a 15 run lead at the end of three innings.
Alex Gustafson batted 2 for 2 with a double, a single, and an RBI. Culton went 2 for 2 for two singles and two RBI’s. Megan Brown hit 2 of 2 for two singles and three RBI’s. Leslie McClinton hit a double and Lacee Hunter and Hayley Fishbeck each added a single; Fishbeck’s single knocked in three RBI’s.
The Lady Panthers were dealt a tough loss, 5-9, by the Comfort Deer, Friday, March 26.
The Blanco squad took an early 1-0 lead by a pitch to get on base and then stole home to score the run. The Panthers weren’t able to hold on to the lead when the Comfort batters began to hit and the Panthers committed several errors. Callie Culton and Chandler Ashley pitched for Blanco.
Megan Brown hit a single for an RBI to start a rally in the sixth inning. Kelsey Schwind drove a double for an RBI, bringing Lacee Hunter in for a run. McClinton hit a single to bring Schwind home. Schwind added another RBI in the seventh inning. Alex Gustafson, Callie Culton, Hayley Fishbeck, Hillary Calzoncit, Angel Williams, and Lacee Hunter hit a single each.
The Lady Panthers play their next two district opponents Tuesday, March 30 against the Johnson City Lady Eagles and Thursday, April 1 against the Brooks Academy Lady Bengals.