By GARY STALLARD
Angelina College’s Roadrunners and the Panola College Ponies opened a three-game series with Thursday’s game at AC.
Indications are this will be a wild series indeed.
With the score knotted at 9-9 in the bottom of the ninth inning, AC’s Taylor Meaux dropped a sacrifice bunt the Ponies threw into left field, allowing Hayden Baker to score the game winner in a 10-9 win at the Larry Phillips Family Sports Complex in Lufkin.
The finish marked the second time in two innings the Roadrunners had to battle back from a deficit – this after giving up a 6-1 lead in the fifth. Trailing 7-6 in the eighth, the Roadrunners got a perfectly executed squeeze bunt from Alec Paz to score Dylan Murphy with the tying run. Alex Ashby then smoked a two-run single to right, giving the ‘Runners a 9-7 lead heading into the ninth.
Panola battled back for two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 9-9. Baker led off the AC half of the inning with a walk, and Murphy beat out an infield single. Meaux followed with a bunt along the third-base side, and the attempt to nail Baker at third sailed wide, setting off the infield celebration.
Murphy, Paz and Ashby each drove in two runs for the Roadrunners. Pitcher Hagan Hartman pitched an inning of relief to earn the win.
The win allowed the Roadrunners to jump the Ponies in the Region XIV standings; AC (25-17, 13-9) is now in third place in the East Zone.
The teams will resume the series Sunday in Carthage. The doubleheader is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.
Gary Stallard’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games.
Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.
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