Home | Sports | Baseball | Maypearl baseball moves 2 wins from 3A state baseball tournament; faces West in regional champ
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Maypearl baseball moves 2 wins from 3A state baseball tournament; faces West in regional champ

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

Before the first pitch is ever thrown, every high school baseball senior in the state dreams of playing after graduation. That dream is now a reality for the Maypearl Panthers.
A third two-game playoff sweep has the Panthers storming into the 3A regional baseball championship.
Maypearl completed the sweep of Central Heights on Saturday afternoon, 2-1, at Whitehouse High School behind a combined two-hitter. The Panthers outslugged the Blue Devils in game one Friday, 10-5, at Mike Carter Field in Tyler.
The series sweep has the (28-8) Maypearl Panthers two wins from reaching the state baseball tournament for the first time since 2005. The only team standing in the way of head coach Jeremy Roberson and the Panthers? The West Trojans.

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The Panthers used five extra-base hits and a strong Tanner Terry performance on the bump to take game one against Central Heights, 10-5.
Central scored in each of the first two innings, but the Panthers were able to scratch a pair of crooked numbers to build a 5-2 lead through two.
The Panthers added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth when Cole Rager doubled to center field to plate Ray.
Five batters later and following a pair of walks, Nolan Spence doubled to left field and scored two more Panthers for an 8-2 lead.
Terry (10-0, 1.28 ERA) ultimately fanned seven Blue Devils, walked 5 and allowed just 3 runs (2 earned) over six full innings of work.
Heath Graf came on in the top-of-the seventh inning and allowed 2 runs (both unearned) on 2 walks. He recorded the first out before turning things over to Baley Ray. Following a first-pitch ball, Ray struck out a Blue Devil on his next three pitches and then induced a weak popup to Graf at third base for the final out of game one.

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Cord Rager (4-0, 1.36 ERA) and Ray combined to toss a two-hit gem in game two, which was a far cry from the offensive onslaught in the series opener.
Rager picked up the 2-1 win after allowing just one earned run over 5.0 IP. He struck out six, walked five and allowed just one hit — an innocent single to lead off the bottom of the fifth.
Rager came on in relief in the sixth inning and earned the six-out save, walking one and allowing one hit over his two innings of work.
It was also Rager who plated the only two Maypearl runs. The standout shortstop doubled to left field and plated Isaiah Munguia and Graf for a then 2-0 Panther lead.

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After defeating rival Grandview (4-1) to win the outright District 17-3A championship on April 29, the Panthers have won 8-of-their-9 postseason games. The run included sweeps of Blooming Grove (bi-district) and Little River (regional quarterfinal).
Maypearl also defeated Cameron Yoe in three games, sandwiching a 5-1 loss between 4-1 and 11-1 victories.

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Maypearl now faces perennial power (28-6) West in the 3A Region II championship. The winner of the best-of-three series advances to the 3A state tournament.
All three games (if necessary) will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, June 1-3 at Cleburne High School.
The Panthers swept West during district play, 3-2 and 6-4, in late March. The Trojans ultimately finished third in 17-3A with a 6-4 mark.
West has yet to lose a playoff game, sweeping Corsicana Mildred, Troy, Lorena and Diboll to reach the regional championship.
Maypearl last advanced to the state baseball tournament in 2005, only that run came in Class 2A. Those Panthers fell to Holliday, 3-1, and finished the season 28-9.
Rusty Lewis (10-3) was charged with the loss after allowing 3 earned runs over 4.2IP and Nathan Duran scored the lone Maypearl run. Second baseman Charlie Cornwell finished the game 3-for-3 at the plate with a double, while catcher Roy Almond went 2-for-3 with a walk and stolen base.
Travis M. Smith | @Travis5mith

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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