Ponies bash TJC Apaches
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With 11 wins and 9 losses in the record book, the Panola Ponies’ baseball team is two games above .500 for the first time this year. With a 7-3 conference record, the Ponies are in second place in conference, only a game behind the Navarro Bulldogs, who were swept by the Paris Dragons Saturday.
In Monday night’s non-conference action against the #1 Division III JUCO in the nation, 7 Ponies’ pitchers overcame the Ponies’ 6 errors, 3 walks and a hit batsman to hold the hard-hitting Apaches to three runs. Hallsville’s Jesse Hanson started for the Ponies for the first time this year and shut out the Apaches for two frames, surrendering no hits while striking out two. Giovanni Lugo pitched the seventh frame and took the win, pitching himself out of trouble despite two errors behind him. Promising freshman Adam Atkins closed out the eighth and ninth innings for the Ponies, chalking up three strikeouts.
Derrian “Boom” James led Ponies’ hitters with 3 hits, 4 RBI, and two stolen bases. Despite James’s early heroics, the Apaches’ lefty Erik Polivka and reliever Kyle Sargent stymied the Ponies for seven innings. In the eighth, the Ponies rallied with two out, plating 6 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Carthage’s Jacob Blissett delivered the key hit. On a 2-2 count, with the score tied 3-3, Blissett delivered a clutch single up the middle, driving in two runs. Trevin Sonnier and James also delivered RBI singles in the 7th.
Wednesday, March 13, the Ponies travel to Lufkin to play a conference double-header with the Angelina College Roadrunners, who are 3-5 in conference action. The Ponies return home Saturday to take on Baton Rouge Community College in a non-conference double header.