Momentum can build in a hurry during the grind of a baseball season. The Midlothian Panthers hope a one-run win over a stout Mansfield Legacy squad followed by a run-rule victory against Mansfield Timberview might just be the needed springboard to a postseason run.
The Panthers began the District 10-5A schedule last Tuesday with a lopsided loss to the Legacy Broncos. But have since reeled off back-to-back home victories, which includes a 10-0 win Tuesday night.
to improve to 9-4 on the season and 2-1 in district play.
"I really thought they came out and attacked this game like we wanted to," Midlothian head baseball coach Ray Hydes said. "We talked about playing with intensity and scoring some runs to give our pitchers a chance to pitch comfortably.
"We made some baserunning miscues in the first couple of innings that I wasn't too happy with, just some miscommunication stuff, but overall I thought the kids played well. I was really, really happy with their performance."
Hydes said he thought Blake Bolgiano threw the ball "really, really well."
Bolgiano finished the five-inning complete-game win with three strikeouts and one walk on 58 pitches. He also surrendered just two hits.
"We talked to him about getting ahead in the count and mixing it up and taking charge on the mound," he added. "I thought he did a good job with all of that."
Jonathan Little, Matthew Coleman and Jacob Cornell led the way at the plate for the Panthers with two RBIs, each. The three did their damage from the 6-7-8 spots in the Midlothian lineup.
Josh Tankersley, Ryan McCaskill, Jett Johnson and Little all recorded two hits. Little slugged a double for the lone extra-base hit for Midlothian.
GAME TWO: Midlothian 2, Legacy 1
Jett Johnson tripled in the bottom of the second inning Friday night to provide Caden Hawkins and the Panthers with all of the needed offense against Mansfield Legacy.
The Johnson triple plated himself and Ryan McCaskill thanks to a Legacy error.
Johnson and McCaskill both recorded three hits in the ballgame.
The Broncos added one run in the top of the fourth inning, but Hawkins was set in cruise control on the evening.
He struck out six, walked none and allowed six hits in his complete-game win.
GAME ONE: Legacy 7, Midlothian 1
A five-run fourth inning spelled disaster for the Panthers in their District 10-5A opener Tuesday, March 13 on the road against Mansfield Legacy.
Nathan Rooney picked up the win for the Broncos. He finished his five innings of work on the mound with six punchouts and four hits allowed. Legacy reliever Payton Cathey surrendered the lone Panther run when Jonathan Little tripled to score Ryan McCaskill in the top of the sixth inning.
Blake Bolgiano took the loss for the Panthers after he allowed seven runs (five earned) on five hits in his five innings pitched. He also walked four and struck out three. Brenden Corbin tossed one inning in relief with two strikeouts, one walk and one hit allowed.
The Panthers were outhit 6-5 and committed the lone fielding error.
Midlothian concludes the regular-season series against Mansfield Timberview at 7 p.m. Friday in Mansfield. Hydes said it is essential for his Panthers to realize that "every game is important in this district and we don't want to look too far ahead."
"We talked about it this morning that this game, the one today, is the most important," Hydes continued. "Now we will look toward Friday when we have to go over to their place and play. You don't want to get too over-confident."
"We still have to work hard, and we have to earn everything that we get. We have to understand that."