He was right.
Paschal (8-7, 5-2 Dist.4-6A) stayed in second place with its 10-9 walk-off victory over Arlington (5-9, 3-4 Dist.4-6A) Tuesday night as Saucedo scored the game-winning run on an RBI single from Sergio Conchas.
Cal Quevedo led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to center. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk to Saucedo, junior catcher Drew Medford doubled to send home the tying run. An intentional walk to senior first baseman William Floyd brought Conchas up to the plate.
“I was just looking for a pitch to hit,” Conchas said. “It wasn’t the greatest at-bat but it did the job.”
Conchas did the job indeed. His bloop over second base landed in front of Arlington center fielder Jaylen Ferguson and Saucedo scored the winning run to fulfill his own prediction.
The Panthers showed resiliency all night long as they came back from three separate deficits against the Colts. Head Coach Darrell Preston said he tells his team to relate situations like this in baseball to real life situations.
“You got to just keep fighting and that’s what life is,” Preston said. “It’s never going to be easy and that’s what my players showed there.”
“It was a huge win. That puts us in the playoffs,” Preston said. “We need to continue to put distance between us and the other teams fighting to get in the playoffs.”
Sophomore starting pitcher Austin Smith went four innings, gave up eight hits and three earned runs on 76 pitches. He handed the ball off to Johnny Pulido in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. Pulido escaped the jam by only allowing one run and the Panthers lead still intact at the time.
“I said, ‘Hey just do your thing, you are the right man in the right spot,’” Preston said. “Pulido did it, he’s been doing it all season long and he did a tremendous job.”
Drew Medford had the best offensive night for the Panthers. To go along with his game-tying double in the ninth, Medford finished 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs.
“My main approach was just to stick to the middle,” Medford said. “I knew the pitching was going to come at us and I was able to find some success.”
Paschal is back in action Friday night against North Crowley. Preston said his team needs to work on defense this week after committing three errors in the game. But he said he was pretty happy right now.
“I’m just so proud. So proud,” Preston said. “I don’t know what else to say.”