The Ponies opened up Region 14 East Conference Play this past weekend. They traveled to Whitehouse, TX to take on the Paris Junior College Dragons in a double header followed by a single 9 inning game on Monday. Game 1 started out with the dragons jumping put to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning, but starting pitcher Jarret Worth was able to settle in striking out 6 and only walking 1 with 6 hits in his six innings of work. Garret Hermes finished the game with 1 inning pitched only allowing 1 hit. The Pony bats were swinging away and hitting balls hard, but didn't have much to show for it. Christian Boulware had a hard hit double in the 2nd inning and Austin DeLeon had an opposite field Homerun in the bottom of the 7th inning for the team's only run of the game. The Ponies Dropped game one by a final score of 6-1.
Game 2 of the double header was a different story. The Ponies pounded out 19 hits with 10 of them being for extra bases (4 homeruns, 6 doubles). Michael Lawson led the way with a 5 hit game and many of his teammates followed with a multi-hit game (Sibley 3, Deleon 2, Boulware 3, Wiley 3). The Panola Ponies got off to a hot start on offense sparked by leadoff hitter Cam Sibley. Sibley worked a full count before depositing a ball deep over the right field fence to get the Ponies on the board right for the start. The team would then continue to rally putting up 5 total runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. In the 4th inning Christian Boulware and Jordan Wiley went back to back hitting consecutive homeruns to extend the lead over the dragons 10-5. Josh Walker wanted his piece of the long ball and extende the game to a 13-9 lead in the bottom of the 5th inning. The Pony bullpen was able to shut down the last 3 innings to secure the victory for the team. Chris Henderson threw 2 innings while striking out 5 hitters and Nick Barnes came in the final inning and struck out 2 batters in a quick 3 up 3 down inning to give the Ponies their first conference win of the season.
Game 3 for the Ponies did not start how they had hoped. The Dragons of Paris put up 7 runs in the bottom of the first and the Ponies were in a hole early. Nick Barnes and Zach Goree were able to come in and shut down the Paris offense for the rest of the game. After one run in the second, Goree tossed 5 scoreless innings striking out 7 and only allowing 3 hits. The Pony offense got heated up in the 6th by a long homerun of the bat of Kade Clemens (4th) and a 2 out hit by Austin DeLeon scoring a run. The ponies were able to scratch one more across in the top of the 7th on an RBI single from Michael Lawson. The Ponies fought back but came up short after falling in a hole early. The Ponies finished up the weekend going (1-2) in the conference opener.
Pony baseball is back in action this week taking on UT Tyler on Wednesday at 7 in Tyler Texas. They will then continue conference play by taking on Northeast Texas Community College. Game 1 of the series is scheduled to be a 9 inning game Thursday in Carthage, Texas starting at 3 pm. On Saturday, the Ponies will travel to Mount Pleasant to take on NTCC with a double header starting at 12pm.