Ponies sweep Paris Dragons
On Wednesday, March 6, the Panola Ponies’ pitchers shut down the hard-hitting Paris Dragons to take both games of a doubleheader and lay sole claim on second place in the conference.
In game one, the first of Clint Cage’s two doubles drove in Matt Spruill and Hunter Hagler to give the Ponies a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Cage (Carthage) then scored on Greg Martens’ single. The Ponies scored again in the sixth when Beaumont’s Derrian “Boom” James smashed his second home run of the season.
Preston Guillory (Watson, LA) started for the Ponies and won his second straight game. Guillory pitched five innings, surrendering only two hits and one run. Robbie Petty relieved in the sixth and was credited with the save.
Final Score: Ponies 4, Dragons 2
In the second game, Cage again drove in the Ponies’ first run in the first inning, this time plating Spruill (Burke, VA) after Spruill walked and advanced to third on Hagler’s single. In the third, Nederland’s Trevin Sonnier walked, advanced to second when James also walked, stole third, and scored on a fielder’s choice. James stole second and later scored on a balk.
With the Ponies leading 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Friendswood’s Michael Donovan, only recently released to play after knee surgery and extended rehab, reached first on an error. Donovan took second on a fielder’s choice and scored what proved to be the winning run when Sonnier singled up the middle.
Kolby Schufft (Shreveport, LA) started for the Ponies and pitched seven strong innings to take the win. Schufft gave up five hits and a walk, surrendering only one run before he was relieved in the eighth by Carthage’s Gavin Williamson. Williamson sailed through the eighth but needed help from Petty in the ninth after he gave up a single and a walk. The Dragons scratched out two more hits off Petty, narrowing the Ponies’ lead to 4-3 before Petty shut the door and claimed his second save of the day.
Final Score: Ponies 4, Dragons 3
The twin wins improve the Ponies’ overall record to 10-9. The Ponies are 7-3 in conference play.
The Ponies hit the road again Sunday for a non-conference doubleheader against the Meridian Community College Eagles out of Meridian, Mississippi. The games will start at 2 p.m. and will be played at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark.
Over Spring Break, the Ponies are scheduled to play Tyler Junior College in Carthage at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 11, travel to Lufkin on Wednesday, March 13, for a doubleheader with Angelina beginning at 3 p.m.; and play a doubleheader with Baton Rouge Community College in Carthage starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 16.
For more photos go to the Panola Baseball Photo Gallery.