In front of a packed crowd at Sterlington High School, the No. 1 Panthers survived a three-run second inning by the Jena Giants to win game one of their best-of-three quarterfinal baseball series.
In the top of the inning, visiting Jena scored by using just about every method in the scorebook. With an error, a walk, a bunt single, a wild pitch and RBI hits, Jena took a 3-0 lead.
The Panthers then clawed out two runs in the bottom of the frame, and one more in the third on a throwing error by the pitcher to tie the game, 3-3.
In the fourth, Luke Handy picked up an RBI by using his speed to turn a sacrifice bunt into a single. Then on a 3-1 count, Cole Thompson’s two run blast to left field gave Sterlington’s Brandon Brewer all the space he needed to close out the Giants the rest of the way on the mound.
"Couldn't be prouder of Cole," Sterlington head coach Mark Sims told The Morning Drive with Aaron and Jake. "We didn't panic. That was the best part about it. We came back, and Cole Thompson just had a great day. He was 2-for-2 with 4 RBIs for our 8-hole hitter. He squared a couple balls up. Brandon after the second inning just gave up one hit."
Brewer picked up the win and lasted all seven innings, giving up just the three runs and striking out eight.
Game two will be at Panther Park at 6:30 p.m. A victory would send Sterlington to Sulphur to compete in the state tournament.