Scott Broussard just had a gut feeling. The Paradise coach pinch hit a kid with only three career varsity at bats with Monday’s game on the line.
It ended up being the right call.
Colton Meadows delivered a two-run single to complete the Paradise (12-7, 4-2) comeback, and give the Panthers an emotional 7-6 win over Millsap.
Earlier this season Meadows connected a home run against Boyd. So despite the limited experience, Broussard liked his youngster’s chances in a pressure situation.
“The kid does a good job, and he’s a competitor,” Broussard said of Meadows. “It was just a gut feeling. He hits the ball hard, and I thought he could hit a hard ground ball, and it might get through somewhere.”
Down 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Tanner Valentine reached on an error by the first baseman to get things going. After Jarrett Holt flew out, Austin Hogan delivered a single to left, putting two runners on.
Dillon Meadows followed with another single, scoring Valentine and cutting the Millsap lead to two.
Skylar Black walked to load the bases. John Bridgeman brought home Hogan on another single, cutting the Bulldog advantage to one.
J.D. Pearson popped out. Then Broussard turned to Colton Meadows with the Panthers down to their final out.
Meadow’s hit scored Dillon Meadows and Skylar Black, who got in just ahead of the tag, causing an eruption from the Panther dugout.
“It feels real good. We started 0-2 in district, and these kids just keep plugging away and plugging away,” Broussard said. “They believe the game’s not over until it’s over.
“Being down three runs going to the seventh I didn’t know if we had much of a chance or not, but the kids came up clutch and made plays when we had to.”
Bridgeman gave the Panthers an early 2-0 lead with a two-run single in the first.
Millsap grabbed the lead back in the third. The Bulldogs took advantage of a couple of Paradise errors and got a key hit from Dylan Burton to take a 3-2 lead.
Paradise plated a run in the fourth, when Ben Broussard laid down a bunt with the bases loaded that everyone thought was foul except the umpire. Broussard eventually took off to first, and Black scored from third, tying the game 3-3.
Millsap added to their lead in the sixth, when the bottom of the Millsap lineup came up with two key hits to take a 6-3 lead.
Aaron Gilbert got the win for Paradise, pitching the final inning in relief. Bridgeman led the offense with three hits and three RBI’s. Black finished with two hits.
Dalyn Clanin took the loss for Millsap in relief.
On Thursday, the Panthers defeated Ponder 9-7. The Panthers put up all nine of their runs in the first four innings.
Dillon Meadows led the offense with two hits and two RBI’s. Tanner Valentine also finished with two hits.
Caiden Berry got the win going four and two thirds innings, giving up two runs, walking four and striking out six.
Paradise will host Alvord Friday.