The Port Arthur News
The Port Neches-Groves Indians rode a five-run fifth inning to come back and beat Summer Creek 8-4 in front of a packed house at Ronnie Kluch Field in Baytown on Friday.
The win pushed PN-G (16-12) into the area round of the Class 4A playoffs.
PNG jumped on Summer Creek starter Joseph Spinks in their first at-bat. Right fielder Dillon Hebert opened the inning with a walk, stole second and move to third on an infield hit by Dylan Saatzer.
Hebert and Saatzer then pulled off a double steal. With Saatzer running, Summer Creek catcher George Gonzalez came up throwing and Hebert, who had delayed until that point, took off for home and beat the return throw to put PN-G up 1-0. Saatzer then scored on an RBI hit by Mason Vizena. Vizena later scored the third run of the inning and PNG had a 3-0 lead after one.
Indians starter Ryan Leckich pitched in and out of trouble, stranding four Bulldog runners in scoring position over three innings of work before giving way to Logan Ashworth in the fourth.
Both teams went quietly in the fourth before the lights went out — literally.
At 8:08 p.m., as Ashworth struck out a Summer Creek batter to end the fourth, the field suddenly went dark. Seventeen minutes later, the lights began to come back on and along with it a whole new ballgame came to life.
Ashworth sat down the Bulldogs 1-2-3 in the fourth, but couldn’t find the strike zone in the fifth and when he did Summer Creek hit the ball. Without recording an out, Summer Creek recorded two hits, two walks, an error and a balk and suddenly the bases were loaded with two runs in.
Exit Ashworth, enter lefty Lance Ledoux for PN-G. Summer Creek’s Ashton Flynt and Tyler Flynt knocked in a run apiece to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.
That’s when PN-G’s comeback began in earnest. In the Indians half of the fifth, they sent ten runners to the plate and scored five times. After three consecutive walks with one out, Spinks left the game and Kameron Wheeler took over on the hill. Two batters later with the score tied at four, catcher Yancey Foster delivered a two out, bases clearing double to give PN-G a 7-4 lead. Foster later crossed the plate to close out the scoring on an RBI single by center fielder Kaleb Clark.
The Indians finished the night with eight runs on nine hits led by Vizena’s 3 for 3 night.
The PN-G pitching staff limited Summer Creek to four hits over seven innings with six strikeouts.
Ledoux picked up the win for the Indians, pitching the final three innings.
PN-G now awaits the winner of the Georgetown and Caney Creek.