PAMPA- The Canyon Eagles didn’t seem like they were upset about playing for second place Tuesday afternoon.
In a game where the winner would take sole possession of second in District 4-4A and likely have the inside track to the No. 2 playoff seed from the district, the Eagles took flight early against Pampa. Canyon led the entire way and rode two big innings to a 12-2 10-run mercy rule victory in six innings which gave them sole possession of second in the district.
That’s as good as the Eagles (and for that matter anybody else in the district) can do since No. 3 Randall has now clinched the district’s top playoff seed, thanks in part to Canyon’s win. The irony to that, of course, is that Randall doesn’t need anybody’s help, and certainly not from arch rival Canyon (18-7, 8-3 in district).
What might have been most impressive for the Eagles is the fact they didn’t let last Friday’s 9-5 loss to Randall carry into this week.
“Number one it was really good to see the kids bounce back from a tough loss a few days ago,” Canyon coach John Doan said. “They came out with tons of energy and I felt we executed some things well. We tried to be aggressive.”
The Eagles led 1-0 after three innings as neither team managed much in the way of solid contact in the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, though, Canyon broke the game open and knocked out Pampa starter Brooks Barton.
Canyon put the first three runners on base as Barton hit two batters and walked another. Cutter Livermore brought them all home with a double down the left field line to make it 4-0. A sacrifice fly by Jacob Burris and an RBI single by Hunter Anderson made it 6-0, as the Eagles sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning despite getting only two hits.
“We got the lead early but 1-0 is not going to do it in this district,” Doan said. “We just have to have guys step up to the plate and Cutter’s been hot for us all year in the middle part of the order when guys have been on base.”
Other than that, it was all about another stellar mound performance by left-hander Javin Cash. He struggled to open the game as Pampa (12-12, 7-4) loaded the bases with no outs, but Cash induced Barton into a double play grounder to escape the inning and allowed only three hits in four innings.
Cash didn’t allow a runner past second base after the first. It was his second straight dominant performance coming 11 days after a 1-0 win over West Plains.
“Rece is the one calling the pitches back there so I have to give it to him,” said Cash, referring to catcher Rece Davis. “He calls a great game. (Pitching) coach (Wade) Williams in practice always gets me going. Without them I don’t think I’d have very much success.”
Ultimately, it was Cash who had the hit which invoked the run-rule. After the Eagles scored two runs off Pampa reliever Isaiah Anguiano in the top of the sixth, Cash blasted Anguiano’s first pitch for a two-run homer to right to make it 12-0.
The Harvesters averted a shutout by scoring two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth. Isaiah Estyrada and Huston Skinner had back-to-back RBI singles.
Randall rolls over Hereford to clinch No. 1 seed
Canyon’s win opened the door for Randall to claim the No. 1 playoff seed, and the Raiders just kept doing what they’ve been doing all season, as they took an early lead on Hereford and didn’t let up in coasting to a 13-2 run-rule win in six innings.
With the victory Randall (25-3, 11-0) has now won 21 straight games. Canyon is the only team in the district who could tie the Raiders for the district title, and since Randall swept Canyon in two previous meetings, that gives the Raiders the tiebreaker.
Randall scored three runs in the first and didn’t let up in taking an 11-0 lead after four innings. Hereford (14-8-2, 6-5) scored two in the bottom of the fourth, but the Raiders put up two in the top of the sixth to end it early.
Mason Gilbert was 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. Kaden Juarez was 3-for-3 and scored four runs and drove in two while Blaine Brannon homered and drove in three runs.
West Plains holds off Perryton to stay in hunt
West Plains moved into a tie for fourth place in the district by withstanding a late Perryton rally for a 5-4 win on the road.
The Wolves (16-10, 6-5) moved into a tie with Hereford for the district’s fourth and final playoff spot.
West Plains took a 5-1 lead after four innings and was within three outs of victory. However, Perryton (10-14, 3-8) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh before the Wolves finally put away victory.
Jonnie Gifford had two hits with a homer and three RBIs to lead West Plains.
Canyon 12, Pampa 2, 6 innings
Randall 13, Hereford 2, 6 innings
West Plains 5, Perryton 4
Dumas 7, Borger 3
Amarillo High pounds out victory over Tascosa
Amarillo High maintained a one-game lead atop the district as the Sandies used a six-run fourth inning to grab the momentum and beat Tascosa 15-7 on the road.
The Sandies (15-10-2, 8-1) led 5-3 after three innings before breaking the game open with six in the fourth. Cannon Davis and Noah Merkert both had run-scoring singles and Jacob Greeson hit a two-run double.
Davis had an especially big game at the plate for the Sandies, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and falling a triple short of hitting for the cycle. Tascosa fell to 11-16 and 3-8.
Palo Duro falls behind in first, can’t recover vs. Plainview
Palo Duro got the upper hand on the road at Plainview, but the Dons did nothing the rest of the way, as Plainview scored 12 unanswered runs to beat Palo Duro 12-2 in a five-inning run-rule win.
The Dons (13-13, 4-5) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but it didn’t last. Plainview (13-13-1, 7-2) took the lead with five in the bottom of the first and ended the game early with three in the bottom of the fifth.
Palo Duro managed only three hits. The Bulldogs held on to second place in the district a game behind Amarillo High.
Amarillo High 15, Tascosa 7
Plainview 12, Palo Duro 2, five innings
Bushland dismantles Friona, clinches playoff berth
The beat went on for Bushland, as the Falcons scored their seventh straight district run-rule victory, crushing Friona 24-1 to clinch a playoff berth.
Kade Gavina was the standout at the plate for Bushland (20-3, 7-0), going 3-for-4 with a homer and seven RBIs. Max Rodriguez drove in five runs, Stratton Malloy drove in three and Breckan Adams had three hits.
Dawson Jaco was dominant on the mound, striking out 10, including nine straight at one point, while allowing only one hit.
Bushland 24, Friona 1, 5 innings
River Road 21, Dimmitt 11
Dalhart 22, Tulia 5