Senior catcher Jackson Halter stumbled rounding first, but was cool the rest of the way after hitting a two-run walk-off home run over the scoreboard at Tiger Field Friday night to give Texas High a 6-4 win over Lufkin.
Texas High swept the Panthers in the Region II-5A bi-district series. The Tigers play North Forney or Ennis in the next round.
“It was a huge win over a powerhouse team,” said winning coach John McClure. “Lufkin ususally goes at least four deep in the playoffs. It was a great shot in the arm from Jackson Halter with that walkoff bomb. It was a team win, and now we’re moving onto the next round.”
Lufkin scored first in the game for a 1-0 advantage. The Tigers retaliated with two runs in their half of the first, and two more in third for a 4-1 lead.
Halter spoils Lufkin’s late rally
Nathan Steele was sailing along until the seventh inning. The Panthers tied the game with three runs. Steele scattered five hits, walked five and struck out five.
The Tigers answered dramatically in their half of the seventh. Rian Celler reached safely, scoring ahead of Halter’s long dinger to right.
THS outhit the Panthers, 10-6. Halter had three hits and drove home three runs. Trey Lavender contributed a double and single, with Luke Smith adding a two-run single. Cellers had one hit and scored twice.