The Region 1-7A quarterfinal game at Milton had it all.
The Panthers hosted their rival — the Pace Patriots — as intensity, home runs, plays at the plate and a nail-biting finish ensued.
It was all Milton through five innings after they tacked on three runs in the first, but in classic Pace fashion … the Patriots were not done.
After cutting a five-run lead to one in the sixth, Pace had its chance in the seventh but Chance Shell and the Panthers sent the Patriots down in order to hang on for a 5-4 win for Milton.
“Man, (Wednesday night) was great — we had a huge crowd and Pace has a great team,” Milton coach George Blake said. “Jason (McBride) does a great job over there at Pace — we went up 5 to nothin’ and they never quit.”
Shell’s brother Chase Shell got the start for Milton, and knocked a two-run homer to give Milton a slight lead in the bottom of the first.
“Chase did a great job, he gave us a chance from the mound and hit a big, two-run bomb in the first to give us a lead,” Blake said. “Pace has hitters in their lineup, and (Chase) Beckstrom swings the bat well. We made some huge pitches tonight though.”
Chase Shell picked up eight strikeouts through five innings of work, though Beckstrom (2-3, 3 RBI, BB) had himself a night.
Beckstrom’s biggest swing came in the top of the sixth, when he cleared bases full of Patriots with a stand-up double to cut Milton’s lead to one.
The Panthers are due for a rematch of this year’s Aggie Classic (Milton vs. Tate) in the next round of the playoffs on Tuesday.
“We are gonna enjoy this one and let it soak in a little bit,” Blake said. “But we will start preparing for Tate and expect the same type of game (as Wednesday night). Tate has guys in their lineup that just scare ya to death. We’ll be ready for a battle and a pitcher’s duel.”
Bad-Boy Barr with the lit video bomb on Chase Shell @justinbarr1998 pic.twitter.com/fb53uwdQr8— Brian Achatz (@PnjBrian) April 28, 2016
•Who: Milton at Tate
•What: Region 1-7A semifinals
•When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
•Where: Tate High School