JONESBORO — Sterlington erupted for six runs in the top of the first and four pitchers combined on a one-hitter as the Panthers dispatched Jonesboro-Hodge 9-1 Thursday afternoon.
Just three batters in, the Panthers scored all they would need. Reece Brooks walked and Seaver Sheets reached on a two-base error to start the game, and Braden Hough lined a two-run single to left.
Cleanup batter Brock Risinger kept the line moving with a base hit to right. Ram Foster, Hough's courtesy runner, was waved home with the third run of the inning on a balk.
A walk to Davis Johnson put runners at first and second with still nobody out.
Risinger scored on a throwing error off Trey Rugg's bunt, which left runners at second and third. Clay Benson picked up both runners with a two-run single as the Panthers' lead ballooned to 6-0.
Sterlington upped the margin to 9-0 with a trey in the third.
Clay Benson reached on a leadoff error, Kyle Elee walked and Harrison Womack hit into a force play to place runners at the corners with one away.
With two gone, Sheets poked an RBI single and Hough crashed a two-run double.
J-H (3-13) spoiled the shutout in the sixth when Fabian Kirkendoff walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Rugg worked three scoreless innings for the win with Womack, Nick Whittington and Zach Jones finishing it out. Sterlington pitching struck out eight and walked four.
Hough was the Panthers' catalyst at the plate with a double, a single and four RBIs. Benson doubled and Sheets, Risinger, Rugg, Benson and Zach Crain singled.
Ayden Watkins singled with two outs in the third for the Tigers' lone hit.
Losing pitcher was Cameron Odenbaugh, with Kirkendoff throwing three innings of scoreless relief.
Sterlington (15-2) visits Oak Grove on Saturday for a 2 p.m. start.