The Panther baseball team will continue its run in the 2010 state play-offs following a two game series sweep of the Brazos Cougars this past weekend. After an exciting 10 to 8 victory in Smithville on Thursday, Blanco had to wait until noon on Saturday before finding a dry field in Pearsall to claim a 2 to 1 win and advancing to the state quarter finals. Blanco will take on the Weimar Wildcats in a series this week. Weimar comes into the game following series victories over Salado and Navarro.
In game one on Thursday, the Panthers jumped out to an early lead and increased their lead to 10 to 3 going into the bottom of the 7th. However, Brazos made things interesting scoring five runs to close to within 10 to 8 with the bases loaded. Junior Clint Dreyer, who started the game and went 6 innings, turned over the mound to Grady Childress, who closed out the victory with an impressive save. Offensively, Blanco totaled 16 hits with Shea Mangold leading the way going 3 for 4. Tyler Tredaway, Brooks Wyatt, Clint Dreyer and Kaleb Specht each contributed two hits apiece with Specht supplying the fireworks with a solo home run. Defensively, the Panthers commited no errors and turned a key double play to end a Cougar scoring threat late in the game while Dreyer picked up his 9th win of the season.
Game two proved to be a pitchers’ duel with Blanco senior Blake West coming out on top. West took a no-hitter into the 6th inning before back to back hits gave Brazos a 1 to 0 lead. However, with just two hits themselves, the Panthers’ Ethan Evans would lead off the bottom of the 7th with a double off the wall. Following an intentional walk to John Pepper, Clint Dreyer got to first via an infield single to load the bases for Blake West. West worked the count to 2-2 before taking matters into his own hands and ending the game with a two run double into the right center gap. For the game, West struck out five and allow just two hits for his 7th win of the year, while at the plate, he drove in the tying and winning runs. Dreyer would lead all hitters for the night going 2 for 3. On the defensive side of the ball, this mark ed the second game where no errors were committed by either team. Again, Blanco turned a key double play to take away a Brazos scoring opportunity in addition to throwing another runner out at the plate.
In claiming the area championship, the Panthers improve to 24 and 10 and will take on the Weimar Wildcats, who finished 3rd in District 26-AA behind Brazos and Schulenburg. All games will be played at Manor High School with the first game played Thursday at 7:00pm. The series will continue with game 2 on Friday at 7:00pm and game 3 if necessary on Saturday at noon.