It ain’t over till it’s over, and the Permian Panthers will let you know when it’s over.
Caden Bedrick’s two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday lifted the Panthers to a 5-4 victory over Amarillo Tascosa in District 2-6A baseball action at McCanlies Field.
Bedrick’s hit capped a four-run rally and sent Permian into the playoffs.
It was the second walk-off victory in a row for the Panthers (20-12 overall, 7-7 district) and third in district play. It also averted a winner-take-all matchup with the Rebels (11-20, 4-10) in Friday’s district finale at Amarillo.
“It means that putting we over me works, and hard work works,” Permian coach Tate Criswell said. “These guys love each other and that’s why they compete like heck for each other.”
Down 4-1 with a man on and two outs, the Panthers recorded four of their nine hits to end the game. Isaiah Flores, Manny Guerrero and Taylor Sullivan each singled with Guerrero driving in a run. Tanner Adams was then hit by a pitch to force in a run and bring Bedrick to the plate.
“We preach just get it to the next man,” Criswell said. “Run as hard as you can and hand the baton off.
“With Tanner, they threw a curveball inside and he wore it on the leg. That’s what they gave him and that’s what he took.”
Bedrick then laced a first-pitch fastball into right field, driving in courtesy runners Christian LaChance and Jayden Salcido to end it. Bedrick joined Adams, whose two-run homer in the seventh inning gave Permian a 5-4 victory over Odessa High on March 20, and Sullivan, whose eighth-inning single lifted the Panthers to a 3-2 decision over the Bronchos on Saturday, in recording a game-ending hit in district play.
“There was pressure, but coach just preaches breathe big and keep it simple, slow your heart rate down,” said Bedrick, who finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs. “That’s what I did.
“I just knew it was my pitch and I went after it.”
The outcome spoiled strong performances for Tascosa’s Harris Shoemaker and Jon Cantu. Shoemaker (1-5) kept Permian off balance for six innings, needing just 60 pitches to get through six innings. He allowed five runs on nine hits, struck out three and walked none, but hit two batters in the seventh.
Cantu went 4 for 4 with two RBIs to help the Rebels build a three-run lead.
Guerrero (4-1) retired the two batters he faced for the win. Permian starter Tyler Ramage went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, striking out two and walking three. Noey Brito got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth before giving up two runs on three hits in the seventh.
Shoemaker retired the first eight Permian batters before Flores, who finished 2 for 3, singled with two outs in the third. The Panthers didn’t have two men reach in an inning until the sixth, when Adams doubled and scored on Bedrick’s two-out single.
The Rebels broke a scoreless tie in the fourth on Cantu’s RBI single, then added a run in the fifth on an RBI double by Mason Martinez, who finished 2 for 4. In the seventh, Cantu’s second RBI single and Ethan Schmidt’s sacrifice fly appeared to give the Rebels a safe lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, pinch hitter Nate Kizziar was hit by a pitch with one out. Shoemaker then got within a strike of ending the game twice. Flores singled on an 0-2 pitch and, after Guerrero and Sullivan hit the first pitches they saw, Adams was hit on a 1-2 pitch.
“We just kept fighting,” Criswell said. “Like I said last week, as long as you have a strike left, you still have a chance.”
Guerrero said things finally clicked offensively for Permian in the final inning.
“We came together and kept our mindset,” he said. “We just had to get the barrel of the bat on the ball and we did that. We just drove the ball and forced them to make plays.”
Tascosa…….. 000 110 2 — 4 9 0
Permian……… 000 001 4 — 5 9 0
Harris Shoemaker and Jon Cantu. Tyler Ramage, Noey Brito (6), Manny Guerrero (7) and Taylor Sullivan. W — Guerrero (4-1). L — Shoemaker (1-5). 2B — Tascosa: Mason Martinez; Permian: Tanner Adams, Aleck Villa.
Records — Amarillo Tascosa 11-20 overall, 4-10 District 2-6A; Permian 20-12, 7-7.
District 2-6A Standings
Team W L W L
y-Wolfforth Frenship…….. 26 5 11 3
x-Odessa High……………. 22 8 8 6
x-Permian…………………… 20 12 7 7
x-Midland Lee…………….. 16 13 7 7
Midland High………………. 18 15 5 9
Amarillo Tascosa………… 11 20 4 10
x-clinched playoff berth; y-clinched district championship
Odessa High 3, Midland Lee 1
Permian 5, Amarillo Tascosa 4
Midland High 4, Wolfforth Frenship 3, 8 innings
Midland Lee at Odessa High, 4:30 p.m.
Permian at Amarillo Tascosa, 4:30 p.m.
Midland High at Wolfforth Frenship, 7 p.m.