Panthers drop two heartbreakers in playoffs

By Austin Bishop
The Choctaw Plaindealer

Nathan Wright is still not sure how his team lost to Ethel in last
weekend’s MHSAA Class 1A State Baseball Playoffs.
“Offensively we played well enough to win,” the veteran French Camp
Academy coach said of his team’s 2-1 and 9-7 losses to the Tigers.
“Hagan Box gave up three hits and struck out 13 in the first game.
You are not supposed to lose when that happens.”
The Panthers traveled to Ethel on Friday and managed to score a run
in the top of the sixth inning to send the game into extra innings
tied at 1-1.
After one was out in the bottom of the eighth, Ethel had a runner
reached first on an error. Two passed balls and another error other
allowed the winning run to score and put the Panthers down a game in
the best-of-three series.
It looked as if homestanding FCA would even the series on Saturday,
as the Panthers took a 4-0 lead, only to have Ethel score three in
the sixth inning to take a 5-4 lead. The game was tied 6-6 after
seven innings, but the visitors scored three times in the top of the
eighth inning to take the 9-7 win.
“Realistically we should have won both games,” Wright said. “We were
just too friendly to them, giving them runs. That has kind of been
our story all year.”
Box had three hits to lead the Panthers in the first game, while
Hunter McKnight, Ben Hosket and Brady Jackson each added a single.
Cole Henson blasted a homer and two singles for FCA in the second
game, while Braden McGlothin had a single and double and Brooks
Warren and Box had two hits each.