The Blanco Panther baseball team will be advancing to the area round of the state playoffs following their bi-district win over the Stockdale Brahmas this past weekend at Texas State University in San Marcos. The Panthers will now take on the state ranked Cougars from Wallis Brazos for the area championship.
In Friday’s game, Blanco coasted to an easy 12 to 2 victory behind a strong pitching performance from junior Clint Dreyer. Dreyer earned his 8th win of the year while scattering four hits and allowing just two unearned runs and striking out five batters. Offensively, the Panthers collected 14 hits. Leading the way would be Dreyer and Blake West as each would go 3 for 4. However, the big stick came from senior Kaleb Specht, whose grand slam in the bottom of the 4th put the game out of reach.
Saturday began much the same as Friday for the Panthers with Blanco jumping out to an early 11 to 3 lead. However, the Brahmas crept back into the game and eventually pulled out a 12 to 11 victory in the bottom of the 7th to force a deciding game 3. Offensively, Blanco out hit their opponent 12 to 10 with Tyler Tredaway going 3 for 5 in addition to John Pepper, Clint Dreyer and Shea Mangold each collecting two hits apiece. However, the Panthers committed three costly errors leading to four unearned runs for Stockdale.
In game 3, the Panthers would see junior Grady Childress pitch a gem on the mound going 7 innings, striking out 8 while scattering 3 hits for a 7 to 0 series clinching win. Childress allowed just five base runners the entire game while the defense made several impressive plays and an inning ending double play to end the Brahmas only serious threat of the night. At the plate, the Panthers continued to pound the ball with senior Brooks Wyatt going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI’s. John Pepper put the Panthers ahead for good in the 3rd, breaking a 0-0 tie with a 3 run shot over the left centerfield wall for his 9th homerun of the season.
With their series win over Stockdale, Blanco improves to 22 and 10 on the year and will take on the Wallis Brazos Cougars Thursday in the first game of the area championship series. The series will continue on Saturday. At this time, the location has yet to be determined. For more information regarding where and when the series will be played, contact Blanco High School at 833-4337.