The North Lamar Panthers, like most teams in North Texas, haven't been able to play their normal ammount of games before district this season. The weather has caused cancellations all over the area. So, with only ten games under their belt, you could see some obvious areas in which the Panthers are still working on their game.
That's what makes a 4-3 district victory that much better for the Panthers. It was the first time this season that local fans could watch the Panthers at home. All of the other games were cancelled due to weather.
The Panthers were one series away from making it to the state tournament a year ago thanks, in large part, to their pitching. After both Daniel Gibbons and Brandon Dusenberry graduated last year, the Panthers needed someone to step up and take over that role.
Enter senior Ty Jones. Ty pitched last season in limited action but was successful. Friday night, Ty showed how effective he can be with his pitching. Displaying an array of pitches against the Rabbits, he baffled them for seven innings. Jones only allowed one earned run on five hits. He struck out seven and walked two.
Offensively, the Panthers only managed three hits against the Atlanta pitching. It was their aggressiveness on the base paths, though, that helped secure the win. After reaching base on a hit-by-pitch, Brayden Steed stole second base. He would come around and score on a single by Trey Scudder. Chad Box would then score on a sacrifice by Evan Nibblet.
The other two runs for North Lamar came when the catcher made two errors on the same play. After Jones walked, Cameron Dickey came in and pinch ran for him. With two outs, Austin Exum popped up right in front of home plate. Dickey was running on the play and Exum was runnning hard as well. The catcher dropped the ball, and picked it up to try and throw out the runner at second base. The ball sailed over everyones head and into centerfield. Dickey and Exum both scored on the play.
Atlanta would pick up a pair of runs, one each in the sixth and seventh, but Ty was able to strike out the final batter to end the game. North Lamar will now host Paris next Friday in their second district game. First pitch is set for 7:30 pm.