Baseball

By MIKE MONTFORT     --- As great as the weekend has been for Navarro baseball, it isn't over yet. The Bulldogs (29-9/18-6) completed a three-game weekend sweep of Bossier Parish Friday and will carry a six-game winning streak Monday to Gainesville where they will face the North Central Texas College Lions in a non-conference matchup. NC also learned Sunday that its Region XIV East Zone lead ballooned to four games as the Paris Dragons (18-27/7-17) swept a doubleheader from second-place Northeast Texas (28-16/14-10) by 12-11 and 6-1 counts at Hub Hollis Field.   Additionally, wet grounds in Carthage forced Sunday's delayed twinbill between Angelina (25-17/13-9) and Panola (30-16/12-10) to 1 pm Monday start. To reiterate, the 8th weekend of East Zone baseball is not over.  And to further emphasize, with three-game series remaining against Panola and Northeast, the league race is not over, either. Coach Matt Podjenski's Bulldogs got some early, extra rest this weekend after securing three-game sweep in 20 innings of work -- downing the Cavaliers 12-4 in a seven-inning Thursday game and posting 5-1 and 13-3 victories Friday. THURSDAY GAME 1 Navarro 12, BPCC 4 Freshman righthander Austin Faith joined lefthander Paul Dickens as a seven-game winner on the staff and the Bulldogs...

By MIKE MONTFORT  -- The weekend Region XIV East Zone baseball series here with Bossier Parish has been re-set, according to Navarro head coach Matt Podjenski on Tuesday afternoon. Navarro (26-19/15-6) and Bossier Parish (15-25/6-15) now will play a 3 pm Thursday single-game and a 1 pm Friday doubleheader at Perry D. Graham Field. The series was pushed up one day in advance of the increasing possibility of rain Friday night and Saturday. National Weather Service forecasts Wednesday indicate that there is a 29 percent chance of rain Friday night,  an 80 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with gusty south-southeast winds Saturday, and a 50 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday night. The Bulldogs are riding a three-game wining streak after Tuesday's 11-8 non-conference win over Blinn at Brenham and last Sunday's conference doubleheader sweep of Paris. Navarro's most recent games: TUESDAY, APRIL 17 Non-Conference Navarro 11, Blinn 8 BRENHAM -- Derek Mueller collected five hits and scored four runs, and the Bulldogs pounded four home runs in a 17-hit attack that subdued Blinn at Leroy Dreyer Field. Mueller, thrust into the leadoff role Tuesday, responded with four singles and a bunt base hit in six trips to the plate as Navarro secured its third straight win and improved...

By MIKE MONTFORT    --- LUFKIN -- Navarro baseball scored a dramatic, extra-inning victory in Game 1 Sunday, settled for a doubleheader split with Angelina and the East Zone leaders continued their rhythmic best-of-three weekend series wins -- this time, from the Roadrunners. Coach Matt Podjenski's Bulldogs (23-17/13-5) maintained their two-game spread over Northeast Texas and Panola as the rain-delayed first series of the second half concluded Sunday.  NC now has won all six of its conference series this season -- the last four in 2-of-3 fashion (BPCC, Panola, NTCC and Angelina, for a second time since March 1). Navarro posted a 3-0, 10-inning win over the Roadrunners in Game 1 as pitchers Paul Dickens and Pepper Jones combined on a four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts.  Derek Mueller's two-run double off AC reliever Hagan Hartman broke a scoreless pitching duel, and Scott Hastings later added an insurance run by hoisting his team-high 11th sacrifice fly that plated Mueller. Dickens and righthander Lance Lusk locked up in a superb pitching duel -- the league's longest double shutout of the season -- but neither figured in the decision.  Dickens, the southpaw who will play at Baylor next season, threw 96 pitches, allowed three hits and...

BY MIKE PHILLIPS / Corsicana Sun There’s plenty of baseball left for Navarro’s Bulldogs, but if you’re looking for the top two pitchers in the Region XIV race, you don’t have to travel much farther than a trip up 7th Avenue. Paul Dickens and Austin Faith are two of the biggest reasons the Bulldogs are in first-place in the East Zone, and that was never more evident than Friday afternoon when they both pitched gems against Northeast to break free in what has been a tight race. The Dawgs had a one game lead on Northeast before Friday but now have a two-game cushion in the zone race after taking the best-of-three weekend series from the Eagles. That brings us back to Dickens and Faith. The Dawgs are still pounding out hits and beat Northeast 7-2 and 9-1, and Dickens and Faith picked up the wins on the mound, where neither allowed an earned run. Dickens won the opener, 7-2, going four innings and giving up two hits while striking out seven. Pepper Jones took care of the final three innings, allowing three hits while fanning five as Dickens and Jones combined to strike out a dozen batters in just seven innings. Faith shut out Northeast...

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. While 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...