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Panthers host annual baseball tourney

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Mabank, Kemp, Eustace play final games before suspension


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MABANK–The Mabank Panthers hosted their annual varsity baseball tournament at Mabank High School March 12-13.
The Panthers took on the Eustace Bulldogs in the first game of tournament play Thursday morning.
The Bulldogs went down in order to start the game as the Panthers stepped to the plate.
Peyton Phillips picked up a one-out single for the Panthers in the bottom of the first. Phillips scored after a wild pitch, a stolen base and a bad throw as Mabank went ahead 1-0.
After a walk and a wild pitch put Ty Reedy on second base, Wade Kemp would cash in later in the inning with a two-run double to increase the Mabank lead to 3-0.
Kemp added another RBI in the third inning on a groundout to make it a 4-0 Mabank lead.
Eustace pitcher Sam Marquez finally got the Bulldogs on the board with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning to make it a 4-1 game. Joey Womble added an RBI groundout as Eustace trailed 4-2 after four innings.
The Bulldogs pushed towards a comeback as the top of the fifth inning began with a hit batter, a walk and a bunt single to load the bases with no outs for Eustace.
Trey Oakley scored on a wild pitch to make it a one-run game as the Bulldogs trailed 4-3. Noah Russell tied the game on another wild pitch as Eustace pulled even 4-4.
Matt Jones took over on the mound for Marquez with runners on second and third with no outs.
Cade Adair put Eustace in front for the first time on an RBI bunt single, 5-4. Marquez finished the inning with an RBI groundout as the Bulldogs led 6-4 after 4.5 innings.
Mabank closed the gap with a run on an RBI groundout by Carson Kelly to make it a 6-5 game.
The Bulldogs exploded in the top of the sixth inning as they loaded the bases with one out. Sam Kincaid increased the Bulldog lead with an RBI fielders’ choice. Kelly added a two-run single for Eustace as they closed out a 9-5 win over the Panthers after time ran out in the game.
Mabank followed up their disappointing loss with a dominant performance on the mound from Grant McManus as he pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just two hits with six strikeouts as they topped the Kemp Yellowjackets 2-0.
The Panthers played their third game Friday afternoon against the Palmer Bulldogs.
Mabank scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs.
Mabank added one run in the bottom of the second inning and exploded for four runs in the bottom of the third inning as the Panthers won 7-0 behind a no-hitter from Tyler McNiel.
McNiel went five innings while allowing no runs on no hits with three strikeouts.
The Panthers finished out the tournament with their third straight win as they topped Palestine 7-2.
Mabank scored three runs in the top of the first before Palmer responded with two in the bottom of the third inning as the Panthers led 3-2.
The Panthers put the game away with four runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Eustace picked up a close 5-4 win over Palmer. The Bulldogs added the 9-5 win over Mabank and ended with a 4-2 loss to Hillsboro.
As of March 16, all UIL-sanctioned events, including practices and workouts, are suspended until March 29.