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BASEBALL: Bulldogs pummel Panthers in district opener
[February 27, 2013]

BASEBALL: Bulldogs pummel Panthers in district opener

Feb 27, 2013 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- MIDLAND Permian baseball coach Arvey Villa wanted to send his team a message going into the District 2-5A opener against Midland High Tuesday at Zachery Field.

But Jackson Lancaster and the Bulldogs had a message of their own to send, and shut out the Panthers 14-0 in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.

Lancaster struck out nine while allowing only two Permian hits, and the Bulldog offense did the rest in putting up 14 runs on 15 hits.

"That was just a typical Jackson game for me," Midland High coach Barry Russell said. "He's been that way the whole year. He throws strikes.

"He throws hard but not super hard, got a good curveball and good changeup, he mixes his pitches and he throws three pitches for strikes. That's the big deal. He's not just a one-pitch guy." Lancaster struck out the side to start the game, and the two hits the left-hander allowed were quickly erased with Colt Simmons being picked off in the third inning and Clay Adams caught stealing in the fourth.

"I was just trying to get ahead with my fastball and working the off-speed afterwards," Lancaster said. "But it was kind of hard sitting in the dugout during those long innings waiting to go back to the mound. ... I can't credit my offense enough for putting up 14 runs, that's pretty good run support." Villa was disappointed with his team's performance, which included four errors, as some of the Panthers were playing out of position. Usual shortstop Damien Armendariz did not start, and neither did outfielder Stephen Juarez.

"We had some last-minute changes that affected the mental focus of a lot of our players," Villa said. "There were some in-house disciplinary issues, so the original lineup was modified. It changed the whole outcome of the game." Simmons, Permian's starting pitcher, lasted just 2.1 innings and surrendered seven of the Midland High runs. Juarez came on in relief and allowed the remaining seven.

The Panther offense, meanwhile, was never able to get going with Lancaster in command on the mound.

"I hope they learn something every time they go out on the field, whether it's a beating like this or not," Villa said. "If we're not learning something from every experience, we're not doing what we need to do. I think they'll learn from it and we'll make progress from there." While Villa hopes his message got through and the Panthers bounce back from the lopsided defeat, Lancaster is pretty confident the Bulldogs' message resonated.

"It's real important," Lancaster said. "We were district champions last year and it was real important to send a message with all the new teams in district to say, 'Hey, we're Midland High and we're here trying to repeat.' " --Midland High 14, Permian 0 (5 innings) Permian......... 000 00 -- 0 2 4 Midland......... 305 6X -- 14 15 0 Colt Simmons, Stephen Juarez (3) and Justen Cotton. Jackson Lancaster and Ryan Whittenberg. W -- Jackson Lancaster. L -- Colt Simmons. 2B -- Midland: Jeremy Hallmark, Gilbert Sanchez, Conner Beck. 3B -- Midland: Austen Wade.

Records -- Permian 3-4 overall, 0-1 District 2-5A; Midland High 7-1, 1-0.

--Follow Mike Whitson on Twitter at @OAWhitson ___ (c)2013 the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) Visit the Odessa American (Odessa, Texas) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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