AC News Service
Blame it on the cold weather refusing to help the baseball carry. Blame it on some pretty solid defense by the Panola Ponies. Or just blame it on one of several missed opportunities on Saturday for the Angelina College Roadrunners.
Pinch hitter Matt Sinclair ripped a two-out, two-on line drive to deep right field in the bottom of the seventh inning and the ‘Runners trailing by a run. Had the ball carried just a few feet farther, and with both base runners on the move at contact, the Roadrunners would have celebrated a walk-off win.
Instead, the Ponies made another play in the field to hold on to a 3-2 win in the nightcap. That final, coupled with Panola's 11-6 win in the opener, gave the Ponies a sweep at Roadrunner Complex in Lufkin.
In that second game, AC stranded a total of 11 runners over seven innings, including 10 in scoring position. Four Panola pitchers coaxed Roadrunner hitters into 10 fly-ball outs over the course of the game, some of those hard-hit balls that simply died in the frigid temperatures.
Colten Walla drove in a run and collected two singles for AC. Jacoby Almaraz also finished with a pair of singles, driving in a seventh-inning run to cut the Panola lead to 3-2. C.J. Jarvis doubled, singled and scored a run; and Travis Walker drew three walks, scoring once.
But Panola put all three if its runs on the board in the third inning, getting singles from Brett McAfee and Aaron Pangilinan, a walk by Brett Pirtle and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jackson McGurdy.
In the opener, the Ponies banged out 11 runs on 15 hits in their 11-6 win. McAfee and Darren Kolk each finished with three hits in four at-bats; and Brandon Zamwow drove in three runs with three singles.
Of Panola's 15 hits, all but Stephen Martinez' first-inning double were singles.
AC's Jarvis drove in three runs with a single and a groundout, and Seth Spivey drove in two runs with a single in two trips to the plate.
The Roadrunners (1-3) will play at San Jacinto on Friday before hosting the Gators in a Saturday doubleheader. Friday's nine-inning game starts at 5 p.m. Saturday's first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.