The Permian Panthers bounced back Thursday to get themselves back in the District 2-6A baseball playoff picture with a 7-6 victory over the Midland High Bulldogs at McCanlies Field.
On Tuesday, the Panthers gave up six runs in the seventh inning in a 9-8 loss to the Bulldogs at Midland’s Zachary Field. On Thursday, Permian held on as Midland High again tried to overcome a five-run deficit.
“Tuesday was one of the most heartbreaking losses I’ve ever been a part of, to have a lead like that against a great team and to lose the game,” Permian coach Tate Criswell said. “I told our guys we’ll find out who we are. We’ll find out who we are in our heart.
“I’m more proud of this team today than I’ve ever been.”
The victory moved the Panthers (15-9 overall, 3-4 district) into a four-way tie for third place in the 2-6A standings with Midland High (16-10, 3-4), Odessa High and Amarillo Tascosa.
For Bulldogs coach Barry Russell, it was the latest dip in what has been an up-and-down season.
“We’re like a rubber ball,” Russell said. “We bounce around. We’re good, we’re bad, we’re good, we’re bad. We’re a .500 team. Now, we’re below .500. We’re 3-4.
“We can’t keep giving up big innings. We’ve got to fight harder. We fought hard Tuesday the last two innings. We really didn’t fight that hard until the sixth and seventh, then all of a sudden we said, ‘Hey, maybe we ought to go play hard.’ And good things happened.”
Permian used a four-run second inning to build a 7-1 lead in the third, and then relied on gutty pitching performances from Peyton Hutson and Manny Guerrero. Hutson worked into the fifth inning and Guerrero got the final nine outs after coming on with the bases loaded and no outs.
“They were both in some tough situations and got out of them,” Criswell said. “They both just competed their tails off today.”
Hutson (3-2) was charged with four earned runs on four hits. He struck out eight and walked six before hitting his pitch limit.
“Our catcher (Taylor Sullivan) really stole a lot of strikes for me today,” Hutson said. “The team backed us up hitting-wise.”
Guerrero allowed two inherited runners to score, cutting Permian’s lead to a run, but worked out of two crucial jams to earn his first save. In the fifth, Guerrero recorded three consecutive outs, though two runs scored when Permian failed to turn a double play and the relay throw went for an error. In the sixth, Midland High’s Billy Schweinebraten led off with a double and the Bulldogs had runners at first and third with one out when Guerrero got Tyler Wade to ground into a double play.
“It took a lot of confidence,” Guerrero said. “It took a lot of trust in each other, to trust my defense behind me. I had to pound the zone and throw strikes and know that they would make plays behind me.”
Tanner Adams went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs, Christian Tschauner was 3 for 3 with an RBI to lead the Panthers. Caden Bedrick went 2 for 4.
Midland High took a 1-0 lead in the first on back-to-back walks to start the game and a two-out error, but Permian took the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning on Adams’ RBI double and Tschauner’s run-scoring single.
“Peyton responded and got us out of the inning, then our lineup was just hot,” Tschauner said.
Permian made it 6-1 in the fourth, chasing Midland High starter Randall Blanscett (3-2) after two runs scored on a wild pitch and a throwing error on the same play. Adams doubled and scored on another throwing error and Daniel Enriquez added an RBI double.
Midland High scored three runs in the third, getting a two-run double from Sean Porter and a sacrifice fly from Hunter Ingram. The Panthers answered in the bottom of the inning with Adams’ RBI infield single after Isaiah Flores led off with a double.
Midland High. 103 020 0 — 6 6 3
Permian……… 241 000 x — 7 11 2
Randall Blanscett, Matt Wilkins (2), Isaiah Baeza (3) and Wyatt Taylor. Peyton Hutson, Manny Guerrero (5) and Taylor Sullivan. W — Hutson (3-2). L — Blanscett (3-2). Sv — Guerrero (1). 2B — Midland High: Sean Porter, Billy Schweinebraten; Permian: Tanner Adams 2, Daniel Enriquez, Isaiah Flores.
Records — Midland High 16-10 overall, 3-4 District 2-6A; Permian 15-9, 3-4.
District 2-6A Standings
Team W L W L
Wolfforth Frenship………… 20 4 5 2
Midland Lee……………….. 13 9 4 3
Odessa High………………. 17 6 3 4
Permian……………………… 15 9 3 4
Midland High………………. 16 10 3 4
Amarillo Tascosa………… 10 14 3 4
Odessa High 3, Wolfforth Frenship 1
Midland High 9, Permian 8
Midland Lee at Amarillo Tascosa, ppd., rain
Midland Lee 18, Amarillo Tascosa 3
Permian 7, Midland High 6
Wolfforth Frenship 8, Odessa High 1
Amarillo Tascosa 10, Midland Lee 8
Permian at Lubbock Christian, noon