PNG drops first game of regional semifinal

Published 12:33 am Saturday, May 27, 2017

CROSBY — Tomball did the damage in the first two innings, and Port Neches-Groves struggled to recover.

Eric Oakes held PNG to one hit in six innings, and Trevor Thrash pitched a perfect seventh inning to lead Tomball to a 6-1 victory over the District 22-5A champion Indians on Friday night in Game 1 of the 5A Region III semifinals. Game 2 of the best-of-three series at Crosby High’s The Ballpark in Crosby is at 1 p.m. today, and if PNG (28-8-2) wins that game, Game 3 will immediately follow.

The Indians have lost a game in each of its last three series and bounced back from a Game 1 loss to advance in the 5A playoffs, but they’ll have to find their offense after being held to one hit Friday.

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Trevor Martin broke up Oakes’ no-hit bid in the fifth with a double, and that put a runner at third base with two outs. But a groundout ended that scoring threat.

Brandon Morse’s grounder in the sixth with two outs produced the lone PNG run by Hayden Guerra.

Morse, the Indians’ starter, found himself in trouble from the beginning. After walking Tomball’s leadoff man on four straight balls, Brandon Marshall reached on an error at shortstop, and Oakes capitalized with a one-run single.

That started a five-run first that included Scott Herrmann’s two-run triple to center, Herrmann scoring on a wild pitch and an Andrew Skivington’s one-run single.

Hermann, who went 2 for 3, singled in the second for the Cougars’ sixth run on seven hits to end Morse’s night. Brandon Petix cooled off the Cougars’ bats and held them scoreless on two hits over 2 2/3 innings, while Holden Lane allowed no hits in two innings. Morse and Petix each struck out two.

Marshall and Oakes each had two hits as well. Mark Bonnain and Zach Hinojosa each had a hit for Tomball (28-10).

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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