The Permian Panthers kept battling back, but the Midland High Bulldogs kept holding them off.
Midland High used three big innings Thursday to defeat Permian 11-5 in District 2-6A baseball action at McCanlies Field.
The Panthers (12-7 overall, 0-2 district) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, then trailed 7-3 before bringing the go-ahead run to the plate only to have the Bulldogs escape. Midland High put the game away with four runs in the seventh inning.
It was a day, Permian coach Tate Criswell said, where the Panthers did a little bit of everything right, but not a whole lot of anything.
“I think in nondistrict play, we played to win,” Criswell said. “In district, we’re putting a little too much pressure on ourselves and playing not to lose instead of being aggressive and going out and having fun.”
Midland High (14-7, 1-1) bounced back from a loss Tuesday to crosstown-rival Midland Lee. Bulldogs’ coach Barry Russell said that made Thursday’s result that much more important as District 2-6A plays three league games this week.
“It’s a tough week, and everybody’s in the same boat,” Russell said. “They all want to play college; they all want to play upper-level. Well, there you go. That’s what this is like, so you get a little taste of that doing it this way.
“But it’s a grind, coming off that rivalry game Tuesday and trying to get back up to go play anybody. We knew it was going to be tough with (Permian). Coach Criswell has done a great job with those kids. They play hard and it’s hard to win here. We were fortunate to win.”
Midland High starter Randall Blanscett (2-1) struck out 10 over 5 2-3 innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits. Matt Wilkins retired all four batters he faced for his third save.
Manny Guerrero (3-1) took the loss in relief for Permian, giving up two earned runs on three hits over 3 1-3 innings. Four Permian pitchers combined to issue eight walks and hit two batters, while four Panther errors contributed to six unearned runs.
“We’ve got to eliminate the small mistakes,” Criswell said. “In most baseball games, especially between two good teams, it’s usually the team that loses the game instead of winning it.”
Cooper Jauz, who went 3 for 5 with two doubles and a triple, Ivan Dominguez (2 for 2), Tyler Wade (2 for 3) and Sam Matchus each drove in two runs for the Bulldogs.
Noey Brito was 2 for 4 and hit a two-run homer for Permian. Caden Bedrick was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Midland High scored three runs off Permian starter Peyton Hutson in the second, batting around without a hit as the Panthers had a defensive error and Hutson walked four and hit a batter.
Brito’s homer and Bedrick’s first RBI single got Hutson off the hook, but the Bulldogs got to Guerrero for four runs in the third. Jauz doubled in two runs and two more scored on an error.
Bedrick singled in another run and Isaiah Flores scored on a passed ball in the fourth, but Permian missed a chance to tie, if not take the lead, in the sixth.
The Panthers had runners at second and third with one out and Bedrick at bat, but ran into an out at the plate, then left the bases loaded after Bedrick and Tanner Adams walked.
The craziness continued in the top of the seventh when Jauz hit what appeared to be a two-run homer, but the ball came off the wall and landed in play. With the runners jogging around the bases, Permian threw home in time to get Midland High’s Billy Schweinebraten at the plate. The umpires conferred and ruled the play a ground-rule double, putting the runners at second and third.
Midland High. 034 000 4 — 11 8 2
Permian……… 030 200 0 — 5 10 4
Randall Blanscett, Matt Wilkins (6) and Sam Matchus. Peyton Hutson, Manny Guerrero (2), Tyler Ramage (6), Christian LaChance (7) and Taylor Sullivan. W — Blanscett (2-1). L — Guerrrero (3-1). Sv. — Wilkins (3). 2B — Midland High: Cooper Jauz 2, Tyler Wade. 3B — Midland High: Jauz, Mario Rodriguez. HR — Permian: Noey Brito (1).
Records — Midland High 14-7 overall, 1-1 District 2-6A; Permian 12-7, 0-2.
DISTRICT 2-6A STANDINGS
Team W L W L
Wolfforth Frenship………… 16 2 2 0
Midland Lee……………….. 11 6 2 0
Odessa High………………. 15 3 1 1
Midland High………………. 14 7 1 1
Permian……………………… 12 7 0 2
Amarillo Tascosa………….. 7 11 0 2
Midland High 11, Permian 5
Wolfforth Frenship 13, Odessa High 3
Midland Lee 14, Amarillo Tascosa 12
Odessa High at Midland High, noon
Midland Lee at Permian, 1 p.m.
Wolfforth Frenship at Amarillo Tascosa, 1 p.m.