Baseball: District Race Tightens

Odessa, TX – In the climax to the three-game series between Odessa Permian and Midland Lee, the Rebels suffered a 5-2 setback at McCanlies Field on Saturday afternoon.  Frenship picked up a win today, which evens the Tigers and Rebels at 10-3 in the District 2-6A standings.

When all the dirt settled, it would be a fifth inning slugfest that decided the outcome of the punch counter-punch affair. After loading the bases in the top of the inning, an RBI hit by Luis Cordero plated Michael Weidner. Casen Yonts scored on a Mojo fielding error for another run as Lee grabbed a 2-1 lead.  Permian took its turn at the plate and was also able to fill the bases.  That would setup a three-run RBI triple by Xavier Melendez to give Mojo the lift it needed.

The early stages of the game featured Lee’s Weidner versus Permian’s Teo Banks battling in a pitcher’s duel.  Weidner held the Panthers to three hits and a pair of walks, while striking out five through four innings.  Banks turned in similar numbers with five hits, four walks, and handing out five strikeouts of his own.

Mojo collected the game’s first run in the bottom of the opening frame.  Sebastian Bravo got aboard on a base tap to left field.  Melendez followed with a free trip to first to setup Ashton Coats’ base hit to plate Bravo.  Coats came in to relieve Banks on the mound the last two innings to earn the save.

The second, third, and fourth innings went by quick as both teams struggled to put runners on base, and even more difficult to move the ones that did occupy bases into scoring position.  The Rebels stranded 10 runners over the seven innings of play, while the Panthers left five on base.

The fifth inning gave Lee a temporary lead which was erased in the bottom half for Permian to enjoy a 5-2 lead.  Coats struck out two batters to start the sixth frame and a ground out finished the at-bat for the visiting Rebels.  Mojo’s Gus McKay added a two-out single before a ground out ended what would be the Panthers’ last turn batting.

Lee was now down to its last turn at the plate.  A hit batter and walk gave the Rebels a chance as they occupied first and second base with one out.  Coats forced the final two batters to hit into the defensive gloves of the Black Cats to preserve the victory.

Melendez went 1-for-2 at the plate, which included the base clearing triple and walk, while Bravo was 2-for-3 for Permian.  Trevor Roper had a 3-for-4 afternoon for the Rebels, with Chase Shores finishing 2-for-3.

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7  
 Mid Lee
0 0 0 0 2 0 0   2 5 0
 Permian 1 0 0 0 4 0 x   5 5 1
 WP – T Banks  |  LP – H Weidner  |  S – A Coats

Permian (13-3) takes sole possession of the top spot in 2-6A with Midland Lee (10-3) and Frenship (10-3) following closely behind as we venture into the back stretch of the district schedule.  The Panthers have two game remaining, while the Rebels and Tigers each have five.

Next week, Lee will have a three-game series with San Angelo Central (5-7), while Frenship and Odessa High (6-7) battle for those valuable district wins.  It will be the bye week for Permian.  The district’s final week will see Mojo host Frenship on April 27 and then travel to Wolfforth on April 30.  Meanwhile, the Rebels and Abilene High (1-11) will mix it up those same last two dates.

The district’s top three teams will take off the gloves and try to deliver the knock out punches these last two weeks.  All three teams currently sport three losses on their 2-6A records, with Mojo having three extra wins.  The undercard will feature the Bronchos and Bobcats trying to grab the final playoff spot.  The baseball diamond is about to really heat up, and it’s not even June in West Texas.   

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