The Lufkin Panther baseball team fell short in Game 3 of their regional final against Whitehouse, 5-4.
The three-game-series was forced to an elimination game after the Wildcats beat Lufkin 1-0 in Game 2. Lufkin won Game 1 Thursday night 5-3.
In the last game of the regional final, Haylen Green was able to drop an RBI into centerfield to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
The Panthers struck again when Lufkin's Luke Rowley smashed a RBI double to bring home Jonathan Dewberry in the fourth inning to extend a 2-0 lead.
Whitehouse wasn’t going to go down quietly though. In the top of the 5th, Wildcat Clayton Pruitt crushed a 2-RBI triple to tie the game 2-2.
With the game tied in the 7th, Whitehouse began bunting their way around the bases until Connor Clark nailed an RBI single to right field scoring Zach Taylor. Whitehouse took a 3-2 lead. That was just the start for more to come.
Mason House hit a grounder and a Lufkin error allowed Whitehouse to extend their lead 4-2 in the top of the 7th. Wildcats had bases loaded and only one out, when Brandon Rossiter had a sacrifice fly that pushed Whitehouse to a 5-2 lead. The top of the 7th inning wrapped up with Whitehouse scoring three runs.
In the bottom of the 7th, Lufkin was able to load the bases with one out against them. That’s when Haylen Green stepped up hitting a 2-RBI single, making it a 5-4 game. However, two outs later and the Panthers' season was over.
Whitehouse now heads to the state tournament.
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