Panthers grab No. 3 seed in tiebreaker

MHS scores 3 times in sixth to defeat Ennis on Saturday

Mirror report
Midlothian's Nathan Humphreys flies through the air as he dives back into first base on a pickoff attempt during Saturday's District 14-5A third-place tiebreaker game against Ennis at Waxahachie High School. The Panthers beat the Lions, 4-1, to take the No. 3 seed.

Bouncing back from a disappointing Friday night walk-off loss at Joshua, the Midlothian baseball Panthers were able to secure third place in District 14-5A anyway by picking up a victory over a longtime Ellis County rival.

A three-run top of the sixth inning erased a 1-0 deficit on Saturday afternoon, and the Panthers went on to a 4-1 win over the Ennis Lions in a tiebreaker game at Waxahachie High School’s Midkiff Athletic Complex to decide the third and fourth playoff seeds.

The Panthers (14-13-1, 8-5) will play the District 13-5A runner-up in the bi-district round this weekend. Details were still not available as of mid-afternoon on Monday. The bi-district winner will advance to play either Whitehouse or Marshall in the area round.

In Saturday’s tiebreaker, Nathan Humphreys was 3-for-4 at the plate with a homer, a double, two RBI and a run scored. Jackson Cox was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored.

The Panthers used a committee approach on the mound, and it worked. Tyler Woolery picked up the win in relief despite allowing Ennis its only run in the fifth inning. Travis Klein started and pitched the first two innings, followed by Colton Clawson for two, Woolery for two and Humphreys in the seventh for the save.

The first four innings were scoreless, but the Lions finally broke through with a sacrifice bunt for a 1-0 lead.

It didn’t take long for MHS to answer, however, as Humphreys promptly tied it with a solo homer to right to lead off the sixth. Then Brady Redmon and Colton Silvers were each hit by pitches to restart the rally, and each scored on a Preston Walker groundout and an error off the bat Patrick Hudson respectively for a 3-1 lead.

Humphreys gave the Panthers a little extra padding in the top of the seventh with an RBI double scoring Cox, who had led off with a single.

The Lions will be the No. 4 seed and will face the 13-5A champion this weekend.

The Saturday win was a nice bounceback following Friday night’s game, in which MHS took a 2-1 lead in the sixth only to see a chance to clinch the No. 3 seed outright slip away with a Joshua rally.

Lance Rains finished 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Panthers. Humphreys added a triple, Hudson had a hit and scored a run, and Silvers reached base three times via a single and two walks.

Jaylon Johnson suffered the loss in relief after taking over for starter Caden Copeland in the seventh. Johnson entered with a man on first and nobody out, and gave up a walk and a single that ended the game. Copeland allowed one earned run on three hits and struck out eight in a no-decision.

Humphreys led off the game with his triple and scored on a passed ball for a quick 1-0 lead. Rains singled home Hudson in the third to make it 2-0.

The Owls got one run back in the bottom of the third, and there was no further scoring until the sixth, when Joshua tied the game on a wild pitch.