Brookhaven baseball defeats North Pike 12-8; advances to second round
Tyler Mixon doesn’t usually pitch deep into games because he relies heavily on his off-speed and the stuff flattens out on him.
Mixon, who doesn’t light the radar gun up with velocity but can throw a curveball into the strike zone in any count, said that his arm starts to hurt after a few innings.
Sometimes, however, when you’re a senior and your season is on the line, the pain subsides and you’re able to go beyond what you’ve done all year.
That’s what Mixon did on Monday night when the senior threw six innings of relief in a do-or-die game three against North Pike, putting the Panthers into the second round against West Jones.
“I usually can’t go that long in games because my arm starts hurting a little bit,” Mixon said. “I was feeling good tonight though, and that really helped me. It could have been my last time playing here, and I just wanted to help my team out and keep going.”
Mixon came into a precarious situation when he took over on the mound in the second inning. The bases were loaded and there was nobody out.
The Jaguars would put up four runs in the inning, but only one of them would be charged to Mixon’s record. He minimized the damage and kept his team in the game, as Brookhaven only trailed by four going into the bottom of the second when things had the chance to be a lot worse.
“He’s a bulldog on the mound,” Brookhaven head baseball coach Matt White said. “He doesn’t usually go long, but he’s dominant for us. He wanted the baseball tonight, and he was dominant again. He’s a competitor and the ultimate bulldog for us.”
In a game that was destined to be a slugfest, Mixon threw up four consecutive zeros for the Panthers, allowing the offense to take control of the contest.
They did just that.
After not scoring in the second inning, Brookhaven would put up five runs in the bottom of the third inning behind RBI base-hits from Corbin Falvey, Gatson Walker and Logan Emfinger, and a sacrifice fly from junior-catcher Jacob Porter.
White said that his offense has been playing well, and that they’re relentless from an offensive standpoint.
“We’ve been getting some bunts down and getting timely hits,” White said. “We’ve been running the bases better.”
While Mixon continued to put up zeros on the scoreboard, the offense would extend the lead in bottom of the fifth as junior outfielder Sevante Quinn hit a one-out double, and leadoff hitter Byrion Robinson brought him in with a RBI single.
The Panthers would pile on runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a commanding 12-6 lead behind four consecutive singles from Trace Owens, Falvey, Walker and Emfinger.
Mixon would finish the game on the hill for the Panthers. North Pike would score two unearned runs in the seventh to close the gap, but the senior thwarted the threat by striking out the side.
“Our defense feeds off of (Mixon),” White said. “He’s a strike-thrower, and he’s a fast worker. It’s really easy to play behind that.”
Mixon’s performance sets the Panthers up for everyone to be available from a pitching standpoint on Friday night against West Jones.
“That’s the best that I’ve pitched all year,” Mixon said. “I’m just glad that I was able to come through for my team.”
Story by Collin Brister
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