LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin baseball and Corrigan softball had stellar pitching performances that brought home wins Friday night.
In front of a packed house, the Lufkin panthers improved to 4-0 in district play after a 7-0 shutout of Marshall. Senior Alberto Fajardo pitched 5 2/3 innings collecting 12 strikeouts over 80 pitches. The biggest stat was no hits. Junior Shaun Bowers came in the game in relief and got the final four outs recording one strike out and no hits.
“It was a great performance,” Head Coach John Cobb said. “that was Fajardo’s first game to start because he missed 3 weeks early with a back injury and then he had a death in his family so he missed a week to be in California. He has missed a bunched of time. We played him in relief a bit but tonight was his first start. What a great start it was.”
We pulled Frajado because that was the longest we had gone this year with him," Cobb said. “We wanted to keep him around 75 pitches. That is a progression I do id to take care of kids. Next time we will push it a little more. Bowers hasn’t pitched since the Lufkin tournament. Give credit to him for him to work while he wasn’t getting action and be ready for the game.”
The two pitchers got run support with the offense plating 7 runs over 6 innings of work.
“I thought the approaches on Tuesday were good with this Marshall team,” Cobb said. “We battled and competed on Tuesday and tonight it carried over.”
The stands at Morris Frank Park were packed with young kids rooting for their favorite Panther. They were part of the lil’ Panthers program that invites kids out to meet and practice with the varsity and junior varsity teams.
“We had around 70 kids tonight,” Cobb said. “I think we have around 140 kids signed up. It is a great thing. Our kids did not realize how many people were there until they came off the field. I was like, Wow they are everywhere.' I am glad or kids have bought into the program and work with the kids and we were able to send them home happy."
With the season sweep of Marshall, Lufkin moves to 4-0 in district play. They are tied for first in 16-5a with hallsville who completed a sweep of Jacksonville Friday night with a 12-1 win. Lufkin will now prepare for two games next week against John Tyler.
“We are still playing against the game and we need to improve on what our inefficiencies are,” Cobb said. “Our goal is to make a run in the playoffs and fix those issues now. We are not playing against JT next week but against ourselves.”
In other baseball action, Lufkin’s district rival Nacogdoches remained winless in district with a 2-0 loss to Whitehouse. Central Heights beat Corrigan on the road 4-2. Dillon Burris got the start for Central Heights Blue Devils Varsity. He allowed two hits and zero runs over six and a third innings, striking out 10. Central got past Woodville 10-6. Wells was shut out by Cushing 10-0. Alto cruised by Kennard 15-5. Diboll beat Hemphill 11-1. Carthage beat Huntington 16-5.
In softball action, Corrigan’s Katy Burris had another standout performance. In the 10-0 win over Central heights, Burris had 12 strikeouts, one walk and three hits. Burris went 2-3 at the plate with two doubles. Corrigan totaled 12 hits and home runs were credited to Jennifer Vasquez and Ladeja Daniels.
Lufkin softball was tied through five innings with Marshall but the lady Mavs would 5-1. Whitehouse shut out Nacogdoches 12-0. Woden run-ruled Broaddus 15-0 in 4 innings. Martinsville outlasted Brookeland 16-14. Huntington fell to Carthage 5-2.