Ponies split with TJC Apaches
Hunter Hagler’s clutch single in the top of the 6th inning drove in Derrian James to give the Panola Ponies the lead as the Ponies went on to defeat the TJC Apaches 5-1 on Saturday.
Greg Martens was 3-4 with two runs scored. He doubled in the fourth inning and singled in the sixth and seventh innings.
Gavin Williamson struck out seven hitters while allowing only 5 hits to earn his 7th win of the season.
In the second game the Ponies lost 9-8 despite racking up 16 hits on an assortment of TJC pitchers. Starting pitcher Giovanni Lugo was tagged with the loss for Panola. The Ponies took an early lead in the top of the first when Hagler scored. TJC tied the score in the bottom of the first but the Ponies scored 5 in the third to take a 6-1 lead, but TJC rallied with 3 runs of their own in the third and two more in both the 4th and 5th innings to go up for good. With TJC leading 9-6 in the top of the 9th, the Ponies loaded the bases with nobody out. Michael Donovan, running for Lugo, scored when the TJC third baseman mishandled a Clint Cage line drive; Randy Ventura scored next on a fielder’s choice. The Ponies could not, however, push the tying run across the plate, and the Apaches came away with a 9-8 win.
Ventura was 3-4, with one RBI and two runs scored. He doubled in the third inning and singled in the fourth and ninth innings. Matt Spruill was 4-5. Derrian James and Hagler had two hits apiece.
The Ponies’ overall record stands at 28-21. They finished conference play with a 19-11 record, good enough for second place. Next on the schedule are two non-conference games in Eunice, Louisiana, with the Division II top rated team in the nation, the LSU-Eunice Bengals. Those games are scheduled for 6pm Friday, May 3, Saturday, May 4, at 2pm, and Sunday, May 5, at 1pm.
The Eunice games on Friday and Saturday are available on video by purchasing the 24-hour all-access pass for $4.95. One ticket should be good for the first two games if you purchase your ticket within 24 hours of the Saturday game. At present, the Sunday game is not on the video schedule. The link, which requires registration, is http://athletics.lsue.edu/showcase/.
The Region XIV Tournament will be played Lufkin, at Angelina College, May 11-14. It is a double-elimination tournament. The Ponies will begin tournament play by taking on the Blinn Buccaneers for the fifth time this year. The Bucs have won three of the previous four games with the Ponies.