Grand slam dashes Panthers’ hopes
MHS takes opener, but Highland Park rallies to advance
The Midlothian Panthers raised their hopes of advancing to the area round of the Clas 5A Region II baseball playoffs on Friday night by jumping on Highland Park at the Scots’ yard and getting a 4-1 victory in the series opener.
But unfortunately for the Panthers, the road team ended up winning all three games as the Scots battled back and took decisions of 7-4 and 8-4 on Saturday at Ronnie Clanton Field, ending the season for the Panthers. The winning runs for HP in Game 3 came on a grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The opening game was a showcase for MHS pitcher Caden Copeland, who went the distance and struck out nine in a three-hitter. Copeland allowed only one run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly.
The Panthers spread the offense around, with Justin Glass batting 2-for-3 with two RBI. Brady Redmon homered and Nathan Humphreys added a double.
MHS (15-15-1) never trailed after taking the initial lead in the top of the first on a Kyzer Herrington RBI groundout. Glass singled home Preston Walker in the second, then did it again in the fourth for a 3-0 edge.
Highland Park got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, but Redmon’s solo homer to right with two out in the top of the seventh ended the scoring.
But on Saturday at MHS, the Scots took an early lead in Game 2 and held on for a 7-4 win to knot the series at a game apiece. The Panthers were held to five hits, but three of them went for extra bases as Glass and Jackson Cox each tripled and Redmon added a double. Redmon and Glass each had two RBI.
The finale of the series saw the Panthers take a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning, but Highland Park tied it in the home half with four runs and added four more in the sixth to clinch the series with an 8-4 win.
Harrington was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI, while Humphreys batted 2-for-2 with two walks, a triple and two runs scored.
In the top of the third, MHS took a 2-0 lead as Redmon reached on an error to score Humphreys, and scored on Harrington’s double. Two innings later, Harrington came through with a two-run single and it was 4-0. HP, however, took advantage of two passed balls to pull even, then took the lead for good with Patrick Turner’s sixth-inning grand slam.
Highland Park (21-12) moves on to face Marshall in the area round.