VAN ALSTYNE — The Panther bats were hot in their District 10-3A opener against Lone Oak and Van Alstyne came away with a 12-2 victory in five innings on Tuesday, March 6.


Panthers starter Rhett Gallagher started the game off right — striking out two and only giving up one hit to Lone Oak in the top of the first inning.


The Van Alstyne bats followed suit with a big four-run bottom of the first. Samuel Tormos led things off for the Panthers, hitting a screamer to left field that the Lone Oak fielder could not keep in his glove. Tormos took second and third after an errant throw on the play.


With a runner at third, Chase Wilson dropped in a short pop-fly into no man’s land and drove in Tormos, kicking off the scoring. Hunter Hutchison and Nathan Cuthbertson also drove in runs for Van Alstyne in the first.


Gallagher retired Lone Oak in order in the top of the second, putting the Panthers in position to extend their lead. Tyler Neshyba led things off with an infield single. Tormos followed up with a long drive to center field that was good for an RBI triple. The Panthers put together three more runs in the inning and took a commanding 8-0 lead going into the third inning.


The Lone Oak side was sat down quickly by Gallagher in the top of the third as he picked up two more strikeouts in the half inning.


The Panthers tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Gallagher got three quick Lone Oak groundouts in the bottom of the inning, finishing off his night only giving up one hit and no runs while striking out five.


The Panthers pushed their lead to 12-0 by the end of the fourth inning. Lone Oak put together some offense at the top of the fifth with two runs.


Gallagher finished 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI, Tormos was 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs, Chase Wilson was 3-for-4, drove in a run and scored twice and Tyler Wilson was 2-for-3, drove in a run and scored twice.


Van Alstyne will compete in the New Boston Tournament starting on Thursday, March 8, before returning to district play at Whitewright on Tuesday, March 13.


Bryce Brakebill is an independent correspondent who regularly contributes to the Van Alstyne Leader sports section.