The hometown Hope Bobcats finally got their chance to play at home on Friday night to host the reigning Class 5A state baseball champions Magnolia Panthers for conference play at Legion Field.

The hometown Hope Bobcats finally got their chance to play at home on Friday night to host the reigning Class 5A state baseball champions Magnolia Panthers for conference play at Legion Field.

The Bobcats came out with a hard and competitive effort, but the Panthers prevailed 24-0.

The Cats hung tough early with a 0-0 score in the first inning, but the champs' Magnolia sparked in the second inning to cross home plate for three runs.

After two innings of action, Magnolia led Hope 3-0. In the third, the Panthers rallied big with 20 runs, then added one in the fourth inning as Hope fell short to score. For the game, Hope recorded one hit from Kobe Watson with a single. The Panthers totaled for 24 runs for their season-high thus far into the 2017 season. Magnolia also had 13 hits with an error.

For Hope, Also Gonzalez, Watson, Hunter Hellums and Nate Carter all saw action from the mound against Magnolia.

The Bobcats return to baseball action on next week Tuesday March 14 on the road against the Hot Springs Trojans for conference play on the diamond.