LaBruyere pitches Montgomery past Panthers

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CARA CAMPBELL/The Lufkin News

Lufkin’s Alberto Fajardo (4) connects with a pitch during a game against Montgomery Tuesday night at Morris Frank Park.

By JOSH HAVARD

On their way to five wins in their last six games, the Lufkin Panthers’ bats were riding high heading into their district home opener on Tuesday night. Unfortunately for the Pack, those bats ran into a buzzsaw in the form of Montgomery’s Gavin LaBruyere as he threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout in leading his Bears to a 6-0 win at Morris Frank Park.

 

LaBruyere allowed one walk and a hit batter and struck out two, and only a pair of Panthers reached scoring position as the Bears picked up their first district victory.

That was enough to outduel Lufkin’s Tanner Green, who was effective through five innings in the loss. He allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits, with no walks or strikeouts.

Alberto Fajardo pitched the final two innings, allowing two unearned runs on one hit and a strikeout.

Alex Nunn led the way for the Montgomery offense with a double, two singles and an RBI in sending Lufkin to its second straight district loss.

Max Quick hit a double, while Adam Holden added an infield single in the seventh inning.

Lufkin’s defense finished with three errors that led to three unearned Montgomery runs.

The Bears got off to a quick start with the help of one of those errors. Nunn reached on an error then scored on a Jordan Hood RBI single for a 1-0 lead.

That lead grew to 2-0 in the third inning when Dillon Smith led off with a single and eventually scored on a Jacob Prigman sacrifice fly.

Quick got Lufkin in the hit column with a drive to deep left that bounced just off the fielder’s glove for a double. However, on the next play, courtesy runner Dillon McDuffie was thrown out at third after a groundout by Clayton Gesford.

In the fifth inning, LaBruyere led off with a single and courtesy runner Dylan Buntyn scored on Nunn’s RBI single to right. Nunn then came around to score on a passed ball that upped the margin to 4-0.

In the seventh inning, Montgomery added its fifth and sixth runs with the help of a pair of errors.

Lufkin had its best scoring chance in the seventh inning when Holden beat out an infield single then moved to third on Montgomery’s only error of the game, but LaBruyere kept his shutout intact by inducing a fly ball to center to end the game.

Other Montgomery hitters were Hood (single, RBI), Dillon Smith, Tristan Whitehead and LaBruyere (single) and Prigmore (RBI).

Lufkin (1-2 in district) returns to action on Friday night when it travels to Oak Ridge. The Panthers will host The Woodlands on Saturday afternoon at 2.

Josh Havard’s email address is jhavard@lufkindailynews.com.