The Brusly Panthers set the tone early on offense and the defense closed it out en route to a 6-2 win over No. 18 St. James Tuesday at home in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Bray Bourgoyne’s solo home run kickstarted the Panther offense to help build a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Brusly (15-20) tacked on another four runs in the third as the defense held down the fort the rest of the way.

The Panthers move on to the second round to face No. 2 Erath (27-5), who disposed of No. 31 Lake Charles College in the opening round.

The three-game series kicks off Friday in Erath with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.

Following Bourgoyne’s home run in the first, Grant Watts scored on a passed ball to make the score 2-0 in favor of the home-standing Panthers.

In the top half of the third, St. James sent a single to right field that knotted the game at two apiece.

Tyler Albert stole home and Macade Wright scored on a St. James error to put the Panthers ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the third.

With a runner on second, Wade Curry sent a two-run blast over the right-field fence, which gave the home team a four-run cushion.

That was all that was needed to secure a berth in the second round. From the start of the fourth inning, St. James mustered only two hits. Pitcher Caleb Dunn forced a fly out to right field that ended the game.

Dunn pitched a complete game to earn the win for Brusly. He allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts.

Curry and Bourgoyne led the offense with two hits each.


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