After a stellar pitching performance by Paradise’s Dillon Meadows in game two of their Class 2A Region II bi-district series against Maypearl Saturday-the Panthers had no answers in the deciding game three.
Maypearl’s Brett Pickard kept the Paradise offense down from start to finish. The Maypearl Panthers picked up the series-clinching win, 11-3, at Chisolm Trail High School in Saginaw.
Pickard’s gem followed a 5-0 Paradise win in game two.
“They outplayed us in the third game,” Paradise coach Scott Broussard said. “They made the plays when they had to, and we made a few mistakes.”
Maypearl jumped on game-three starter Caiden Berry. They scored four runs in the first two innings on the Paradise starter, including three in the first.
After two singles to start the game, Jordan Fisher doubled home two runs for Maypearl. They would add another run with a sacrifice fly later in the inning.
Maypearl would make it 4-0 with a Brad Rhea RBI single in the second.
Paradise closed the gap to 3-2 in the third. John Bridgeman had an RBI double, and Colton Meadows knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice. That would be as close as the Panthers could get.
“We just couldn’t get the bats going when we needed to,” Broussard said. “I’m proud of our baseball team. Some crazy plays happened, and I had to move some kids around. The kids never laid down and never quit.”
One miscue play happened in the third when catcher Skylar Black collided with a teammate on a foul pop-up. Black had to leave the game with a cut and a couple of loose teeth.
The rough day for Paradise catchers continued when J.D. Pearson took over for Black. He got upended at the plate an inning later when a Maypearl runner came sliding in to score. Pearson was able to stay in the game.
Maypearl put the game away in the fourth. They scored three more times with Lane Rhea coming up with a big two-run single.
Rhea owned Paradise pitching in the third game. He had four hits and three RBI’s.
Bridgeman took over for Berry in the fifth. Maypearl scored two more runs in that inning and two in the seventh.
Meadows tried to start a rally for Paradise in the sixth, but he was caught stealing after a lead-off double. The Panthers only mustered one run in the inning.
Meadows ended the third game with three hits, including two doubles. In game two of the series he pitched all seven innings, allowed three hits and struck out nine.
“Dillon had a good day today,” Broussard said. “He’s one of those guys that gets his back against the wall he’s going to perform. He did a great job on the mound and at the plate.”
Austin Hogan led the Panther offense in game two with three hits. Meadows had two hits, and Black had an RBI single.
Maypearl took game one Friday, 12-7.
With a lot of youngsters coming back, Broussard says the Panthers have a lot to look forward too.
“I’m real proud of the kids,” Broussard said. “We only have two seniors. We have a lot of sophomores and freshmen playing. The future looks bright.”