Runners shutout Lions
Angelina College baseball team members proved to their head coach, Jeff Livin, they could hit in a 16-0, 8-0 sweep of Mountain View College Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Roadrunner Field.
Alex Ashby hit for the cycle in the 16-0 win in the opener, getting a single in the third inning, a triple in the fourth, a double in the fifth and a two-run homer in the sixth.
Drake Pierson also homered in the first game, launching a three-run blast in the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, Roadrunner pitchers Lance Lusk and Eric Worden teamed for the shutout. Lusk struck out eight hitters in five innings to earn the mound win.
In the nightcap, Dylan Murphy drove in a pair of runs with a third-inning single, and Taylor Meaux launched a solo homer over the right-centerfield wall in the fifth in AC’s 8-0 win.
Dalton Roblin started on the mound and threw four hitless innings. Jacob Mead came on and threw in relief, also keeping Mountain View off the board.
The Roadrunners stand at 4-4 for the season.
Sports field named in dedication ceremony
When all anyone else could see were trees and heavy equipment, Dr. Larry Phillips was already envisioning families enjoying spring days at the ballpark.
Contractors began the clearing and construction process for the new Angelina College baseball and softball complex back in the summer of 2008. Phillips, then the AC president, periodically would stroll across the campus to check the progress. He had shown everyone who would look the graphic maps of the proposed facility, yet he seemed to be one of the only ones who truly could see how it would look 10 years later.
The “new” fields held their Opening Day ceremonies on Feb. 6, 2010, with both the Lady Roadrunner softball team and the Roadrunner baseball team in action. Phillips was on-hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitches in each arena.
Today, the complex looks exactly the way he hoped it would look.
The facilities are considered some of the region’s finest, a destination for numerous high school and collegiate tournaments. Phillips had already predicted they would be so.
However, the complex also serves in the exact capacity he dreamed it would: Entire families sprawl across the stands, the picnic tables and the grassy areas. Some sit behind the fences in trucks. No bad seats exist on either field.
Between the baseball and softball fields is a large, open area – and all that was part of the original plan. On any given game day, kids scatter everywhere, chasing foul balls or balls they brought themselves. “Game Day” is not just for the big kids wearing uniforms. It is also for the little guys and girls dreaming big of one day standing on the diamonds instead of outside them.
Angelina College recognized Phillips’ vision in a dedication ceremony Thursday, April 19 by re-naming the entire facility the Larry Phillips Family Sports Complex. The first 200 fans through the gate received T-shirts, and the first 200 children ages seven and under received wiffle balls and bats.
After the ceremony, the Roadrunner baseball team played Panola College in a conference matchup.
As the big guys battled it out on the diamond, a wiffle ball game was going on right behind the bleachers.
Roadrunners defeat Panola
Angelina College’s Roadrunners and the Panola College Ponies opened a three-game series with a game Thursday, April 19 at AC.
With the score knotted at 9-9 in the bottom of the ninth inning, AC’s Taylor Meaux dropped a sacrifice bunt the Ponies threw into left field, allowing Hayden Baker to score the game winner in a 10-9 win at the Larry Phillips Family Sports Complex in Lufkin.
The finish marked the second time in two innings the Roadrunners had to battle back from a deficit – this after giving up a 6-1 lead in the fifth.
Trailing 7-6 in the eighth, the Roadrunners got a perfectly executed squeeze bunt from Alec Paz to score Dylan Murphy with the tying run. Alex Ashby then smoked a two-run single to right, giving the Runners a 9-7 lead heading into the ninth.
Panola battled back for two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 9-9. Baker led off the AC half of the inning with a walk, and Murphy beat out an infield single. Meaux followed with a bunt along the third-base side, and the attempt to nail Baker at third sailed wide, setting off the infield celebration.
Murphy, Paz and Ashby each drove in two runs for the Roadrunners. Pitcher Hagan Hartman pitched an inning of relief to earn the win.
The win allowed the Roadrunners to jump the Ponies in the Region XIV standings; AC stands at 25-17 for the season and 13-9 in district play and is now in third place in the East Zone.