WOODROW Before the Permian baseball team saw its season come to an end, the Panthers pushed two-time defending state champion Southlake Carroll to the limit.
Three games were needed to decide who would move on in this year’s playoffs.
The Dragons came in with the momentum on their side after picking up a 5-1 win Friday.
Permian shifted the momentum with a victory in Game 2, forcing the win-or-go-home Game 3.
In the end, the Dragons were able to break things open for an 11-1 victory in five innings to win the Class 6A best-of-three series and end the Panthers’ season Saturday at Lubbock-Cooper’s Pirate Field.
Southlake Carroll advanced to face Flower Mound Marcus next week in the regional semifinals. Permian’s season ends at 30-10.
Both teams held each other off the scoreboard for a large majority of Game 2 until Permian jumped ahead in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Aleck Villa gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead after reaching home on an error.
It didn’t take long for Southlake Carroll (25-16) to get back in the game, as Max Reyes scored off a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to the game, 1-1.
An error at third base in the bottom of the frame gave Sebastian Bravo a chance to reach home plate and put Xavier Melendez in scoring position.
An RBI single from Villa on his next at bat scored Melendez, giving Permian a 3-1 advantage in the sixth inning.
The Dragons closed the gap with a score from Tanner Sumer in the seventh, but the Panthers held on to win the contest after an offensive interference call was followed up by a fly out to force the deciding game.
Southlake Carroll wasted no time getting on the board in the final contest, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Permian cut the deficit to 3-1 in the top of the second when Cade Tschauner reached home after Teo Banks was walked with loaded bases.
The Dragons added on to their lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth and broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fifth for the run-rule victory.
Southlake Carroll head coach Larry Vucan called Permian a gritty, tough and mean team that was well-coached.
He was happy with the result his young team was able to obtain against the tough competition.
“For our guys to come out of that, with that quality of team over there, I’m very proud of them,” Vucan said.
When Permian started the 2021 season, the team’s roster included seven seniors.
All of those players were freshmen when head coach Tate Criswell first took over the program.
He was thankful for their contributions to him and the team over their high school careers.
“They had no reason to buy into what we were doing,” Criswell said. “They trusted us and I’ll forever be grateful for that bunch and last year’s seniors.”
Criswell believes this year’s playoff run will be beneficial to the underclassmen that will be returning to the team next year.
Southlake Carroll gave the Panthers an example of what a team can do when it has experience in postseason play.
“One program has been here and we haven’t. When you’ve been somewhere before, it’s familiar to you,” he said. “The guys coming back will be better next year.”
>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya
Permian 3-1, Southlake Carroll 2-11
CLASS 6A Regional Quarterfinals
Saturday, Pirate Field, Woodrow
Carroll……….. 000 001 1 — 2 5 2
Permian……… 000 012 x — 3 5 0
Owen Proksch and Clark Springs. Cooper Golden, Teo Banks (7) and Peyton Gregory. W — Golden. L — Proksch. 2B — Southlake Carroll: Proksch, Ben Tryon, Max Reyes. Permian: Sebastian Bravo. 3B — Southlake Carroll: Reyes.
Permian……… 010 00 — 1 4 0
Carroll……….. 300 35 — 11 11 0
Gus McKay, Teo Banks (4) and Peyton Gregory, Caleb Boswell (5). Nate Rusher and Clark Springs. W — McKay. L — Rusher. 2B — Southlake Carroll: Ryan Pehrson, Gunner Krug. 3B — Southlake Carroll: Ethan Mendoza, Max Reyes.
Records — Permian 30-10; Southlake Carroll 25-16.