The Blanco Panther baseball team completed district play this past week going 2 and 1 in their final three games. On Tuesday, April 13, the Panthers faced a tough test when they hosted the visiting Comfort Bobcats. While Comfort jumped out to an early 7 to 2 lead, the Panthers clawed their way back and used a 5-run 6th inning to pull ahead 8 to 7. Comfort answered in the top half of the 7th, scoring five of their own, to regain the lead at 12 to 8. However, Blanco managed to put a scare into the Bobcats, scoring three runs in their last at-bat to close within 12 to 11 with the tying run on base before popping up to end the game.
Offensively, Blanco out-hit the Bobcats 14 to 8. However, five costly errors led to eight unearned runs. Blake West suffered his first loss of the year on the mound to fall to 4 and 1, while Senior Brooks Wyatt provided much of the offensive punch for the Panthers, going 4 for 5 with three RBIs. Ethan Evans, John Pepper, Shea Mangold, and Kaleb Specht also helped keep the game close, as each collected two hits apiece.
Although the Panthers were supposed to host the Johnson City Eagles on the following Friday, rain postponed the game to this past Monday. Junior Clint Dreyer took the mound in search of his second district win versus the Eagles. When all was said and done, Dreyer held the Eagles to just one run while scattering five hits and striking out six to improve to 7 and 2 on the year. The Panther defense was just as solid, committing no errors and providing numerous big plays. Although JC was just as impressive, with their defense holding Blanco to five hits, the Panthers saw Shea Mangold go 2 for 3 to lead the team while Dreyer and John Pepper combined for two hits and two key runs batted in.
Finally, Blanco traveled to San Antonio on Tuesday to close out their district schedule against the Cole Cougars. Although the Panthers scored just one run in the first two innings, a 10-run 3rd would help end the game in five innings, with Blanco claiming an 11 to 1 win. Blake West provided a solid outing on the mound to get his 5th win of the year, limiting the Cougars to just two hits. At the plate, Blanco pounded the ball, collecting 12 hits, with West leading the way going 3 for 3. Dreyer and Mangold also had a good day, as each went 2 for 3.
For the year, Blanco is 17 and 9 overall and finishes district play at 6 and 2. As a result of Comfort’s 6 to 1 win over Johnson City, the Panthers will finish in second place, while Comfort claims the top spot with a 7 and 1 district mark, and JC finishes in third with a record of 5 and 3. At this time, Blanco’s bi-district opponent is yet to be determined. Depending on the outcome of several games on Friday, the Panthers could face Kennedy, Stockdale, or Karnes City in the first round of the state play-offs.