going places

Panola third baseman Austin Bost slides safely into second base with a double. Bost is leaving Panola early having signed with Texas A&M.

The Panola College Ponies are looking for a few good players after putting together a 38-16 team in 2019.

They already have several players coming to join the core group of sophomores who are returning.

But a couple of showcase events — one that was held Wednesday at Jim Reeves Memorial Field and another that’s scheduled for July 15 — should help the Ponies’ coaches fill any leftover holes.

“We feel good about the guys we’ve got coming in,” Panola Head Coach Todd Shelton said, “some good position players. You hate to lose some of those guys, but that’s what junior college baseball is all about. You’re always retooling.

“Last year we had a third baseman, a second baseman and a first baseman all new.”

The Ponies have 11 players going on to four-year schools now, including a couple players who just finished their freshman seasons.

Dipping into the Ponies’ well of talent most of all was Sam Houston State as the Bearkats picked up four Panola players — including freshman right-handed pitcher Hayden Collins of Cy-Ranch.

Also moving on to Huntsville will be sophomore catcher Trent Touchet of Shreveport Byrd; right-hander Tyler Davis of Conroe Oak Ridge; and right-hander Garret Hermes of Rowlett.

Texas A&M also picked up a Panola freshman as third baseman Austin Bost of Port Neches Groves will be joining the Aggies. He led the Ponies in hitting and was second in RBIs.

Freshman right-hander Chad Dallas of West Orange-Stark signed with Tennessee.

Power-hitting outfielder Kade Clemens of Gilmer signed with Stephen F. Austin. Staff ace Jarret Whorff, a right-hander from Winnsboro, signed with Louisiana Tech.

Catcher Cameron Sibley signed with Northwestern State; right-hander Chris Edwards signed with Lamar; and right-hander Blaine Parker of Hallsville is headed to UT-Tyler.

One of the player Shelton has returning and will depend upon is former Beckville standout Trey Lindsay.

The 6-2, 170-pound right-hander, who helped the Bearcats win the 2018 Class 3A State Baseball title, was the No. 3 starter for the Ponies most of the season. He threw 51.2 innings with a 3.48 ERA, 44 strikeouts 19 walks and a 2-4 record.

The Pony coaches said they also were depending on catcher Ryan Snell, first baseman Raphael LeBlanc and second baseman Mateo Beltran to be some of the other top players returning.

Shelton said another former Beckville star, Ethan Harris, never fully recovered from the arm problems he had his senior season and would no longer be with the team.