May 8—The Permian baseball team didn't let a 36-hour break and change of location stop its momentum.
The Panthers took an early lead and never looked back to defeat El Paso Socorro 11-1 in five innings in Game 2 of a Class 6A bi-district series Saturday at McCanlies Field.
Permian (27-7 overall), which opened the series with an 11-0 victory Thursday in El Paso, swept the best-of-3 series to move on to the area round next week, where it will face Trophy Club Byron Nelson, with details still to be worked out.
"It's just a really cool feeling," Permian head coach Tate Criswell said. "I'm just real happy and pleased to see these guys get rewarded for all the hard work that they've put in."
Permian got a boost with a strong start from Gus McKay, who did not allow a hit in four innings of work and struck out three batters.
It did not come easy at first for the left-hander but he was able to work his way out of a jam by picking off a Socorro base runner off first base to end the inning.
"Honestly, I think that play brought our energy up," McKay said. "The whole team was hyped up after that play and that just made the game better."
The Panthers took advantage in the bottom of the inning and capitalized on some Bulldogs miscues. Caleb Boswell drove in Permian's first run on a sacrifice bunt and the other run scored off a Socorro error on a ground ball by Ashton Coats.
Permian stayed aggressive on the base paths throughout the game, finishing the day with five stolen bases.
"I thought our approach at the plate was really good," Criswell said. "We were just trying to take what the game gives you and staying patiently aggressive."
Sebastian Bravo drove in a run in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI groundout and that was all the cushion McKay needed as he retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced.
"We just wanted to have Gus' back behind the mound," Boswell said. "We were just thinking that we had to step up and get up for him."
Permian broke the game open in the fourth inning by sending 10 runners to the plate.
Bravo got the scoring started with a two-run triple to drive in McKay and Teo Banks, followed by Boswell's two-run home run to left field two batters later to extend the lead.
Jake Glasman capped the scoring with a bloop double to left field to bring in another run.
Socorro (13-14) averted the shutout in the top of the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly by Pablo Rodriguez to bring in Jorge Moncayo, who had the only hit of the game for the Bulldogs.
"I think our mindset wasn't there," Socorro head coach Joe Alvarez said. "Give credit to Permian because their mindset was that they were going to get after it and they did.
"We were waiting for stuff to happen instead of making it happen."
The Panthers pushed two runs across on a pair of Socorro errors before Boswell's triple to center field brought in the final run to end the game via run rule.
Permian will get a chance to play an extra week and Criswell added that he hopes this is only the beginning of a deep playoff run.
"We just have to stay hungry and humble. Be happy but not satisfied," he said.
Permian 11, El Paso Socorro 1 (5)
CLASS 6A BI-DISTRICT PLAYOFFS
Saturday, McCanlies Field
Socorro......... 000 01 — 1 1 5
Permian......... 210 53 — 11 8 0
Iain Campa, Jose Barba (4), Javier Martinez (5), Jesus Rivas (5) and Manny Ceniceros. Gus McKay, Cooper Sheehan (5) and Peyton Gregory. W — McKay. L — Campa. 2B — Permian: Jake Glasman. 3B — Permian: Caleb Boswell, Sebastian Bravo, Aleck Villa. HR — Permian: Boswell.
Records — El Paso Socorro 13-14 Overall; Permian 27-7. Permian wins series 2-0.