LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Morris Frank Park saw one last magical moment Tuesday night with the Lufkin Panthers winning 3-2 over Nacogdoches with a walk off single by Sam Flores.
“We got Colby DeJesus on base with two outs and tied at 2,” Lufkin head coach John Cobb said. “Sam took a pitch so we stole the base to get into scoring position. If he gets thrown out no big deal because Flores would lead off. When he stole the base, the ball got away so we got to third base. That was just a gamble because Sam leading off in extra innings would be a good thing. Sam got the barrel on the ball with a 2-0 count so it all worked out.”
The game marked the final regular season game at the Panther’s baseball field at Morris Frank Park. Next year the Pack will play full-time at their on campus facility. Lufkin High School has played on two different field sites at the park with the current set up in place since 1979.
“Anytime you beat Nacogdoches it is a good day,” Lufkin baseball coach John Cobb said. “All the memories at Morris Frank Park are coming to an end. To have some magic one last time, I think there were some baseball Gods looking over us one more time.”
The game was a defensive battle at first with each team combining for four hits through the first four innings. Nacogdoches would score off of a Reid Boyett double in the 5th inning. The Dragons would then load the bases but Alex Luna and company would get out of the jam.
“Nacogdoches went up 1-0,” Cobb said. “The benches cleared but the umpires did a good job keeping everyone separated. That sparked us. We came back. Unfortunately we gave up one more but got it back in the bottom of the seventh.”
Lufkin will most likely enter the playoffs as the 2-seed out of 16-5A. There is a small chance that Lufkin could be the 1-seed but Whitehouse would have to lose to Tyler on Friday and Lufkin win one more time against Nacogdoches.
“I feel real confident in this team going to the playoffs,” Cobb said. “They did a great job of battling and competing and taking control of the game late.”