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Valiant effort

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Pine Prairie shortstop Jordan Ardoin makes a tag and puts out a Port Barre runner trying to steal second base. The Panthers made a great comeback attempt effort against the Red Devils, but fell short in an 11-7 District 5-3A loss. Pine Prairie is now 2-2 in district play

Pine Prairie falls short in comeback bid at home Tuesday

Sports Editor

PINE PRAIRIE – Despite a valiant effort at a comeback, the Pine Prairie Panthers baseball team fell to the Port Barre Red Devils 11-7 at home Tuesday afternoon in a District 5-3A contest.
In the game, the Panthers fell behind 8-0 after one and one half inning of play, but eventually crawled back into the game and only trailed 9-6 at the end of the fifth inning.
Nevertheless, the young Panther squad could not complete the comeback and took their fifteenth loss of the season.
“I am proud of our players, they did not lay down,” stated Pine Prairie head coach Scott Butts. “They kept fighting and we were able to score some runs and make it a ball game.”
“We start a number of sophomores,” he continued. “But these guys have come a long way this season. We still are making some minor errors, but are not making a ton of errors like we did at the beginning of the year.”
It looked as if the Red Devils were going to get a quick run-rule win to start the contest. Port Barre struck for three runs in the first on two walks, a double and a fielder’s choice.
Pine Prairie worked their way out of the inning by turning the 1-6-3 double play.
The Red Devils held the Panthers scoreless in the bottom of the first and proceeded to tack on five more runs in the top of the second to take an 8-0 lead.
That double play gave Pine Prairie new life, allowing the Panthers to gather themselves and start their comeback attempt.
Pine Prairie scored two runs in the bottom of the second to cut into the lead. Drake Lee and Joel Franks both scored in the inning to pull the Panthers closer to the Red Devils.
In the top of the third, Port Barre’s lead off batter singled. The Panther defense went to work once again, turning another double play to garner the first two outs of the inning. A fly ball to short stop ended the inning for the Red Devils.
Pine Prairie added another run in the bottom of the third when Nick Ortego scored on a single off of the bat of Sylus Carson.
Port Barre answered with a single run in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 9-3.
Neither team could do much offensively in their next at bats. However, the Panthers made a go of it in the bottom of the fifth, plating three big runs.
Cole Thomas reached base after getting hit by the pitch. Carson then strolled to the plate and took an 0-1 fast ball and crushed it over the left-center field fence for a two-run home run.
Later in the inning Kyler Carson scored on an infield single from JJ Sims to make the game 9-6.
The Red Devils added two more in the top of the sixth to bring the lead back up to five.
The Panthers last run came in the bottom of the seventh when Franks connected on a pitch and hit a shot that cleared the left field fence for a solo home run.
Sylus Carson led all Panther hitters going two-for-four with three runs batted in.
With the loss Pine Prairie is 3-15 on the year and 2-2 in district.

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