LONGVIEW, Texas – Spring Hill scored two runs in the first inning, and Easton Ballard took care of the rest Thursday night at Panther field. Ballard tossed a five-hit shutout in beating Pleasant Grove, 8-0.
The Region II-4A best-of-three quarter-final series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. in Texarkana. If the Hawks win, a third game will followed 30 minutes later.
“We have to come back on Saturday, and respond in a big way,” said Pleasant Grove coach Riley Fincher. “There were too many mistakes in the game, and Spring Hill did a good job of taking advantage of those. We know what’s in front of us.
“Our focus now is on the task ahead of us. We have to come out and compete our tails off every single pitch on Saturday. Our guys have been resilient all season, and we expect nothing less than their best effort on Saturday.”
Ballard also contributed at the plate
Ballard scattered the five hits he allowed, walking two and striking out seven. He also contributed at the plate with a double, single and two RBIs.
Colin Martin had a triple and double for the Panthers. Jeff Stovall added two doubles, with an RBI.
Pleasant Grove (27-8) was led at the plate by Alex Galvan, Brenton Clark, Tucker Anderson, Travler Couch and Jason Harris with a single each.
The Panthers improve to 25-8 on the season.
The winner of this series advances to play Waxahachie Life or Melissa.