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Zone-leader NC takes Panola series, anticipates NTCC

CARTHAGE — Navarro split its Region XIV East Zone baseball doubleheader here with Panola Saturday, but won the series from the Ponies and managed to open a one-game lead over Northeast Texas in league standings.

Coach Matt Podjenski’s Bulldogs (18-14/9-3) took Saturday’s opener as Mason Holt, Beau Orlando and Josh Ragan belted home runs to back lefty Paul Dickens in a 9-2 victory.  In the second game, Navarro rallied from a 6-2 deficit to tie and send the game to extra innings, but Pqnola secured a 7-6 win in 10 innings thanks to catcher Ryne Ray’s walkoff single.

PANBB6While Navarro was winning its weekend series, Angelina helped the Bulldogs by taking 2-of-3 from Northeast and knocked the Eagles into second place.

Navarro and Northeast meet this week as the first round of East Zone series conclude on this short, holiday week.  NC plays the Eagles at Mount Pleasant in a 3 pm Wednesday single game.  The teams return to Perry D. Graham Field in Corsicana on Friday for a 1 pm doubleheader.

SATURDAY: Game 2
Panola 7, Navarro 6  (10 innings)
Ray’s single off sixth Bulldog pitcher Colin Wyman delivered Cameron Sibley with the game-winning run.  Navarro had scrambled back from a 6-2 deficit and squared things on a one-out, two-run home run in the eighth inning by Tim Bechtold.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Navarro   110  000  222 0  – 6-11-0 (LOB 12)
Panola     001  311   000 1  –  7-12-1 (LOB 11)
W: Barnes.  L:  Wyman,
HR:  N – Bechtold.   P: Deleon.

SATURDAY: Game 1
Navarro 9, Panola 2
Holt, Orlando and Ragan homered to back the five-hit pitching of Dickens and Ryan Johnston.

Holt smacked his fifth roundtripper of the season — a two-run shot off losing starter Chris Figueroa — during a three-run second inning that gave NC a 6-0 lead.  Orlando reclaimed a six-run lead for Navarro with a third-inning home run, his third of the year.  Ragan capped Bulldog scoring with a solo shot — his team-leading eighth home run — in the seventh.

Dickens threw 111 pitches in 6.1 innings.  He yielded six hits, two walks and two earned runs while striking out nine Ponies.  Johnston threw eight pitches to close it out.

Jordan Wiley hit a fourth-inning solo homer for Panola.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Navarro   331 001 1 — 9-8-1 (LOB 5)
Panola     010 100 0 — 2-5-1 (LOB 6)
W: Dickens.  L: Figueroa.
HR: N – Holt, Orlando, Ragan.  P – Wiley.

THURSDAY:  Game 1
Navarro 10, Panola 4
Noah Menchaca drove in three runs, and Navarro took advantage of five Panola errors in the process of scoring of 10 runs — six of which were unearned.

The Bulldogs scored all of their runs during the second, third and fourth innings against losing starter Chris Henderson and two Panola relievers.  Navarro manufactured runs on this windy afternoon thanks to three wild pitches, two hit by pitches, a stolen base, a two-base throwing error on a pickoff attempt and four fielding miscues.

Menchaca was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, driving in Scott Hastings with NC’s first run during the second inning.  Later during a three-run fourth, Menchaca knocked a bases-loaded double that plated Hastings and Beau Orlando for a 10-1 lead.  Middle-of-the-order hitters Hastings, Orlando and Kyle Landers combined for 6 of the Bulldogs’ 10 hits and scored eight runs.

Winning starter Austin Faith threw 100 pitches in five innings of work, yielding seven hits, three walks and three earned runs while striking out five.  Freshman righthander Pepper Jones threw 70 pitches during four innings of two-hit relief and fanned eight Ponies.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Panola    001  020  100  —     4-9-4  (LOB 12)
Navarro 035  200  00x —  10-10-2  (LOB 9)
W: Faith.  L: Henderson.
Records:  Navarro (17-13/8-2).  Panola  (19-11/5-5)