Sterlington can clinch the District 2-2A baseball championship outright with a victory over Jonesboro-Hodge tonight at 6. Originally scheduled for Thursday, the game was moved back a day due to the threat of severe weather. Prior to the game, seniors Allen Anders, Jacopo DeGiovanni, Kyle Dolecheck, Taylor Lockwood and Casey Sutton will be recognized during a 5 p.m. ceremony.
Sterlington holds a one-game lead over Lakeside in the conference standings and holds the tiebreaker by virtue of a 2-1 edge in head-to-head meetings with the Warriors.
Wrapping up the regular season, the Panthers travel to Oak Grove on Monday at 5:30 p.m. Playoff pairings will be released Tuesday.
Sophomore lefthander Ross Lambert and junior righthander Austin Haman threw a double no-hitter as the Panthers swept Homer 15-0 and 15-0 on Tuesday.
Lambert has made the most of his opportunities this season.
"Ross gets everybody out front," Sterlington coach Randy Carr said. "He gets a lot of fly balls and ground balls. The future looks bright for him."
Senior righthander Casey Sutton threw another gem in the Panthers' 2-0 victory over Claiborne Christian on Saturday.
Sutton (10-0) spun a two-hitter, while striking out nine, walking none and plunking a pair of batters. In 11 starts, Sutton has an ERA under 1.00.
"Casey's pitching extremely well," Carr said. "He's very, very polished. We're blessed to have him."
CCS threatened in the fifth, placing runners at first and second with nobody out. Escaping the inning unscathed, Sutton struck out the next batter, before inducing a popup to Haman and a groundout to Austin Mills.
Kyle Osbon pulled a Houdini act of his own in the home half of the fifth, getting out of a bases-loaded jam.
"It was two great pitchers going against each other," Carr said. "We just had a little more offense than they did."
Sterlington broke through for a deuce in the sixth when Hamam clubbed an RBI triple and scored on a passed ball.
Sterlington swept the two-game series from the Class C Crusaders after winning the first meeting 20-10. Coming off of weekend tournaments, both teams were thin on pitching in the Tuesday, March 19 contest, leading to a slugfest.
With both teams throwing their aces Saturday, the bats went silent.
"We didn't face Osbon and they didn't face Sutton," Carr said of the difference between the two games.
Lakeside snapped the Panthers' nine-game winning streak on Thursday, April 11 at Sibley.
Page 2 of 2 - "We didn't start playing until the fifth inning. By that time, the damage had been done," Carr said of the 6-5 loss.
Haman allowed only one earned run as the Panthers committed six errors.
"Haman did a great job on the mound and hit a two-run bomb," Carr said.
Carr returned to the dugout from shoulder surgery on Saturday, April 6 as the Panthers blanked Cedar Creek 3-0 behind Sutton's two-hit pitching.
"It's great to be back in the dugout," Carr said.
Sterlington extracted a measure of revenge with the road victory as Sutton lost a 1-0 verdict to the Cougars on Stephen Kunz's sixth-inning home run last year at Panther Park.