TEXARKANA, Texas — Jackson Halter sent Texas High to the area round and ended Lufkin's baseball season with one crushing swing of the bat.
Halter hammered a 2-run home run after Rian Cellers easily beat out a high chopper for a leadoff infield single in the bottom of the seventh, as the Tigers swept the Class 5A bi-district series with Friday's 6-4 walk-off win at Tiger Field.
Down by three runs through six innings, the Panthers (24-8-1) tied the game in the top of the seventh, setting up Halter's heroics.
Cellers was the winning pitcher in relief of Nathan Steele. Steele threw 103 pitches in 6 1-3 innings, scattered six hits, fanned five, walked four and was charged with three runs.
Cellers worked 2-3 innings, gave up one hit, walked two and allowed one run.
Down a run in the bottom of the first, the Tigers (17-7-1) grabbed the lead on three hits and an error.
Trey Lavender smashed a ground-rule double into the bullpen in right field with one out to start the rally. After an error put two on, Halter dropped a hit into shallow center to drive in the tying run.
Zane Dodson lined a hit to right to load the bases, and Luke Smith's sac fly to center put Texas High ahead.
Ben DePriest and Lavender had two-out hits in the second but were stranded on base.
Halter led off the third with a single, and an error allowed Dodson to reach safely. Smith singled home a run, and Steele added a sac fly to center to make it 4-1 THS.
In the top of the first, a pair of walks preceded Spencer Alexander's two-out, stand-up double to right in the first inning to give the Panthers the early lead.
Steele retired six in a row after an infield hit in the fourth, but a stand-up double by Alexander and single by Hunter Ditsworth brought the potential tying run to the plate in the top of the sixth. Steele struck out the next batter to thwart the opportunity.
In the bottom of the frame, the Tigers chased Alex Luna after a two-out walk and single by DePriest. Coby DeJesus picked up the first strikeout of the night against the THS lineup to end the inning.
Lufkin tied the game in the seventh inning. Following a strikeout, a pair of walks ended Steele's game on the mound; Cellers gave up a soft single to left, walked two — both pushing across runs — and a sac fly to left to knot the score. A pop up to first base ended the inning, stranding two Panthers.
Texas High advances to play either North Forney or Ennis next week in the area round.