The Paschal High School baseball field’s stands housed the largest home crowd of the season for senior night Friday.
Twelve seniors took the field one last time to fight for a playoff berth against Lamar High School.
But the game did not go as they hoped.
Panthers’ pitchers walked eight batters in the 6-0 loss to the Lamar Vikings. Panthers’ starter Hunter Speilman had 10 strikeouts, but owned six of the walks. In his five-inning outing, Lamar threatened to score twice, once in the second inning and the other in the fifth.
Speilman started the second walking Lamar’s Bryan Benz. Benz would move to second on an Adrian Farago bunt that sailed over the charging third baseman Miguel Carreon. The pair advanced another base on a Chase Duran fielder’s choice to shortstop. But Speilman ended the threat by striking out Andrew Johnston.
In the fifth, Lamar third baseman Nick Llorente singled up the middle with one out. He advanced on a Connor Hollis walk, followed by Speilman walking Benz to load the bases. Farago flied out to right field to end the inning for the Vikings.
Speilman walked his final two batters in the sixth before being replaced by Austin Perryman, one of Paschal’s 12 seniors. Perryman hit Alex Zalm to load the bases. Brett Green crossed the plate on a wild pitch, and Perryman loaded the bases again by walking Hollis. The next run walked into home safe when Cole Hadley walked to first.
Perryman was replaced by fellow senior Will Hendricks, who gave up a first-pitch triple to Benz to knock in all three runners on base to make the score 5-0. Benz scored on a Hunter Nurdin fielding error to score the final run for Lamar.
The only Panther to reach first was Merritt. He hit his single in the fourth and got on base in the seventh due to a dropped fly ball by Lamar’s Andy Guinn in shallow center field.
Farago pitched the entire game, with 10 strikeouts and no walks. He had a perfect game going until Merrit’s fourth-inning single.
Paschal’s stands were full of parents and students who had hoped to see their baseball team have a chance for a playoff berth. Paschal finished district play 5-9, with an overall 13-15 record.