By RYAN CORNELL Special Correspondent
The Ada News
In the always power-stacked Roff Spring Invitational, two teams that have never missed a single tournament — host Roff Tigers and Lookeba-Sickles Panthers — faced off in what began as a pitcher’s duel between Roff’s Mike Anderson and Devin Dixon of the Panthers. Both hurlers had to get outs their own way.
Dixon seemed to cruise right through the Roff lineup, while Anderson played the role of grinder, working deep into counts and on a few occasions having to work out of jams. But the results yielded the same on the scoreboard, as both held the opposition scoreless through four innings.
In the top of the fifth, things changed for Dixon in a hurry. Midway through striking out Roff’s Andy Antonio, there were obvious signs of discomfort in Dixon's side. After a full count walk to Cruz Villafranco, ending what was a perfect game, Dixon was relieved of his mound duties.
Lookeba reliever Bryson Lierle came on to strike out two of the next three Tigers to end the inning. The score remained knotted up at zero until the sixth inning.
After laboring through the previous five innings, Anderson gave up a lead-off walk. As any baseball person can tell you, those are things that can come back to haunt a pitcher, and this time it did.
The next five Panthers reached base, four of which were base hits with a hit batter in the mix. Andres Torres came on in relief and, after giving up the seventh run of Lookeba’s big inning, helped the Tigers escape the run rule and gave his team one last chance to hit.
After a lead-off walk to Anderson (who later took second on a wild pitch) to start the top of the seventh, back to back infield groundouts led to Roff’s only run. Villafranco grounded out to the pitcher, ending the game.
Dixon and Lierle combined for a no-hitter while striking out nine RHS batters. Roff managed only three base runners, all coming via walks.
Lierle, Dylan Brooks, Barrett Newell and Baylen Bullcoming all had doubles for the victorious Panthers, who compiled 10 hits in the contest.
Editor's Note: Results from the remaing first-round games were not available at press time. Friday's tournament schedule was also not available.
Lookeba-Sickles 7, Roff 1
ROFF 000 000 1 — 1 0 0
LOOKEBA 000 007 x — 7 10 0
Mike Anderson, Andres Torres (6) and Cruz Villafranco. Devin Dixon, Bryson Lierle (5) and Barrett Newell. WP-Dixon. LP-Anderson. 2B-Lierle, Dylan Brooks, Newell, Baylen Bullcoming (LS).