Nine straight Panthers reached base in the top of the fourth inning as Paradise piled up seven runs on their way to a 10-3 win over Ponder Tuesday.
Landry Norwood started the fourth-inning hit parade with a single to right and came around to score. Paradise sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame.
The Panthers (19-6-1) clinched the second playoff seed out of District 9-2A with the win, moving to 8-3 in the league.
“The district turned out to be real competitive,” said Paradise coach Mike Fehler. “Peaster played really good defense, and Ponder hit the ball better than expected. It really made it a challenge.”
As the second seed, Paradise will open the playoffs with a bi-district series against the 10-2A third seed Whitney May 2-3 at Fort Worth All Saints. Game one will be at 7:30 p.m. May 2. The second game will be a 2 p.m. May 3 and the third game, if necessary, will follow.
Fehler expects his team’s pitching depth behind ace Dillon Meadows to be a benefit in the playoffs.
“We have a good amount of arms. We have a lot of kids that throw a lot of strikes and can get people out,” Fehler said. “We’ve also been hitting well the last few games.”
Paradise pounded out 13 hits against Ponder. Jarret Holt, Meadows, Skylar Black, Norwood and Tanner Valentine had two hits each. Meadows collected a double for the Panthers’ lone extra-base hit.
On the mound, Holt limited Ponder to three runs on five hits over five innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Austin Hogan worked a scoreless two innings in relief.
Paradise looked to close the regular season on a high note Friday, taking on Millsap at home.