The Paschal Panthers’ thrilling walk-off victory against Arlington Tuesday evening showed coach Darrell Preston just how well his team can play when his players support each other.
“They were doing it for each other and pulling for one another,” said Preston. “I think we had all 19 guys contribute in some way during that win.”
The win vaulted the Panthers into the playoff picture. Preston said it was a huge win, but he would like to create some distance between his team and their pursuers in the standings.
As the second time through the division begins Friday evening, Paschal (8-7, 5-2 Dist. 4-6A) is one game out of first place. The team will try to extend its two-game win streak as it hosts the North Crowley Panthers (11-5, 4-3).
“North Crowley got us already once,” said Preston. “We have to come prepared and ready to give them a game.”
The first time they met, North Crowley outdueled Paschal to a 3-2 win. But which North Crowley offense will show up Friday evening? Last Thursday the team scored 20 runs against Arlington Sam Houston, but the next game the Panthers were shut out by Arlington Martin.
Coach Preston said he plans to work on defense this week after his team made three errors in Tuesday’s game.
“I think both teams had about 10 different ways they could have lost that game,” said Preston. “We preach just to make the routine plays and if you do that then you win ball games.”
Junior Drew Medford is the probable starting pitcher for Friday. Medford played catcher in Tuesday’s win and finished 5-for-6 with two doubles and four RBIs. He also picked off a runner at first to end a threat in the eighth inning.
“When he’s behind the plate, I leave it up to him,” said Preston. “He is so accurate with his throws that you hardly ever see one go awry.”
Arlington Martin and Arlington Lamar also play each other Friday evening. The winner will stay in first place while the loser will fall a game behind. Paschal will need a win in order to keep pace with the district lead. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. in Fort Worth.