By Charlie Cavell, BPCC Athletic Coordinator
Andrew Mills’ three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Bossier Parish Community College Cavaliers to a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the Panola College Ponies Thursday at the BPCC Baseball Field.
Mills’ blast capped off BPCC’s five-run rally in the eighth.
The Cavaliers loaded the bases on three straight walks to start the inning. Gabriel Cabrera greeted Panola reliever Holden Lane with a single back up the middle that plated two runs to cut the Ponies lead to 5-4.
Mills then belted his team-leading ninth home run off the top of the scoreboard in left field to give the Cavaliers the 7-5 lead.
BPCC had a chance to blow the game wide open as they loaded the bases for the second time in the inning, but a 1-2-3 double play and a fly out ended any further damage.
In the top of the ninth, BPCC sent closer Daniel Shafer to the mound, but after two consecutive walks he was lifted for reliever Landon Foster.
Foster recorded three straight outs, including two strike outs, to end the game and preserve the BPCC win. It was Foster’s first save of the season.
Beau Ross came on in relief of starter Zachary St. Pierre in the top of the sixth. Despite giving up one run on three hits over two and two-thirds innings, Ross kept the game close eventually earning the win, his first of the season. Lane would be tagged with the loss as he allowed two runs on three hits and exited the game without recording an out.
Prior to the eighth, BPCC was held to just two runs and two hits by Panola starter Trhea Morse.
Morse, who entered the game with a 0-3 record and a 9.58 ERA, surrendered a walk, a two-run home run to Collin Young and a double to Gavin Baird in the second inning.
After that, Morse retired 16 of the next 17 batters he faced.The only blemish was a two-out walk given up to Garrett Felix in the bottom of the fifth.
In addition to the two runs on two hits, Morse surrendered three walks but struck out 10 before being replaced after the seventh.
Panola got on the board in the top of the first when Matthew Etzel hit an inside-the-park home run.
The homer was made possible because BPCC center fielder Dylan Watts crashed into the wall trying to make a play on the ball. Watts lay motionless at the base of the wall while Etzel rounded the bases.
Watts left the game and was replaced by Ron Franklin. No report on Watts’ condition was available after the game.
After BPCC had taken a 2-1 lead on Young’s homer in the second, Panola scored four runs in the sixth to regain the lead. Ponies catcher Matt Abshire, who had three hits and a walk in the game, hit a three-run homer over the left field wall. Two batters later, Jack Angus hit a solo shot to put Panola ahead 5-2.
With the win, BPCC improves to 19-20 overall and 11-14 in Region XIV, while the loss drops Panola to 17-23 overall and 8-21 in region play.
BPCC is scheduled to play a doubleheader against Champion Christian College at 1 p.m. on Friday, weather permitting. The Cavaliers and Ponies will resume their series on Saturday with a doubleheader in Carthage, Texas.