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North Lamar escapes Pittsburg with a victory in game one

Chad Box with a single in Game 1 against Pittsburg on Thursday night.
Chad Box with a single in Game 1 against Pittsburg on Thursday night.

It wasn’t a pretty win, but it still counts as one for Coach Igleheart and the North Lamar Panthers. North Lamar defeated Pittsburg 5-4 in Game 1 of their playoff series in Pittsburg. Pittsburg had plenty of opportunities to walk away with a home victory but the Panthers found a way to take the first game.

“We didn’t play all that great,” coach Igleheart said about the game. “We didn’t play bad, but we made some mistakes….and to get a win over here in their place; and in a somewhat hostile environment.”

North Lamar got off to another hot start as they scored three runs in the top of the first inning. Braydon Steed singled to start the game and Daniel Gibbons walked. A few batters later, Brandon Dusenberry and Jacob Cowling hit back-to-back doubles that would score three.

With a three-run lead to start the game, Gibbons took the mound. Even with a big lead, the Panthers made some mistakes that put themselves in tight situations. A series of walk, errors and other mental mistakes allowed Pittsburg to climb back into the ball game.

The Pirates walked eight different times at the plate. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Pittsburg loaded the bases with no outs. Trailing 3-2, this was the perfect opportunity to take the lead over the visiting Panthers. Gibbons, however, after just walking two batters calmly through a double-play grounder to get the force at home and the out at first. The next batter struck out to end the threat.

Pittsburg would tie it up in the bottom of the seventh on another mistake. After walking the second batter of the inning, the next batter laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt. The throw to first base was high, which allowed the runner from first to score. The batter reached third base on the error. Gibbons struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

The eighth and ninth inning were shut down innings by pitcher Ty Jones. Jones came in and pitched brilliantly for the Panthers. In the ninth inning, Gibbons singled and would come around to score on a single by Aaron Edwards. With the win, North Lamar takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. North Lamar will host Pittsburg Friday night at 7:30. If North Lamar wins, they advance to the next round. If they lose, game 3 will be played Saturday at Texas High.

By: Greg Higgins, eParisExtra

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