High School Baseball Amarillo-area roundup

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Amarillo High’s Garrett Robertson slides back safely to first during a game against Tascosa. [James Abel/ Press Pass Sports]

Amarillo High takes 3-5A crown 

The Amarillo High Sandies opted to take the fifth on Friday afternoon, and that decision led to an undisputed District 3-5A championship.

Taking an unbeaten district record and sole possession of first place into Rebel Field against crosstown rival Tascosa, the Sandies were scoreless after four innings, as were the Rebels.

As has been their custom this season against Tascosa, though, the Sandies made up for lost offense in the top of the fifth, batting around twice and scoring all 13 of their runs in the inning to cruise to a 13-0 five-inning 10-run mercy rule win.

The solid beating merely confirmed how tall above the district Amarillo High (20-8, 10-0 in district) has stood this season. Numbers tell the story, as it couldn’t have been more appropriate that the Sandies scored season landmark wins 20 and 10 by hanging up 13 runs in an inning on the home field of their archrival Tascosa (8-18, 5-7).

“We’d love it if we didn’t wait until the fifth inning to do it,” AHS coach Randon Johnson said. “These guys are just waiting for that chance to break through and it took a little longer today. In this series against Tascosa it’s worked out that way.”

In completing a season sweep of the Rebels, the Sandies didn’t break through early in any of their three wins. They were scoreless for the first three innings in a 10-0 win at Hodgetown, and Tuesday at Sandie Field, they trailed 4-0 before scoring seven runs in the third en route to an 11-4 victory.

Friday, AHS left-hander Clayton Norrell and Tascosa right-hander Charlie McKinney matched zeros for four innings, as neither pitcher allowed a runner safely past second base. That seemed to be the right script for the Sandies.

“It was a great pitching performance by Clayton,” Johnson said. “He held the fort and allowed us a chance to get there.  I think we’ve got guys who feed off each other so we try to keep it as positive as possible. Some baserunning errors made that difficult early on.”

In a staggering run of good offensive fortune, Amarillo High’s first 11 batters of the fifth reached base. Will Flaming’s bases-loaded single drove in the game’s first run, then McKinney hit Jimmy Escajeda with a pitch to bring home another and make it 2-0, which eventually got McKinney pulled for sophomore left-hander Coltyn Fulton.

The pitching change didn’t yield results for the Rebels, as Fulton walked Colton Flores and gave up a single to Norrell to make it 4-0 before Wyatt Purser’s two-run single to left made it 6-0 which pretty much signaled the rout was underway.

Purser concluded the scoring with an RBI single in his second at-bat of the inning. By that time it was 13-0 and the only suspense was if the Sandies were going to win via the run rule.

“Everyone was anxious, and they knew it was our time to score that inning,” said Purser, who led the Sandies with three hits. “Once I got up there I just waited for my pitch and I drove it. The mindset the whole game is that we wanted to win the district title even with two games left. We were all kjust hungry today and ready to hit.”

Norrell made sure things would end early in the bottom of the fifth. He allowed a single to Holden True with one out, but retired the side to end the game, as he gave up three singles and walked none.

“I’ve just got to trust my guys and know that we can produce runs,” Norrell said. “You’ve got to love the high pressure with a lot of people out here and good weather. We’ve got to find a way to stay motivated and prepare for the playoffs because the teams are just going to get better and better.”

The four playoff teams are set for 3-5A, even if the order isn’t. Plainview beat Palo Duro 9-1 to clinch the second playoff spot and is now 13-14 and 7-3 while Palo Duro fell to 3-23 and 0-10.

Amarillo High and Plainview will meet twice next week to close the regular season and tune up for the playoffs. Tascosa has the district’s open date and can get the No. 3 seed, but only if Palo Duro sweeps Caprock (8-14, 4-6) next week.

“You look up today and it’s 0-0 heading into the fifth then at the end of the fifth it’s 13-0,” Tascosa coach Jason Patrick said. “They started hitting and we couldn’t stop them. We’ve got two weeks of practice time to re-hit the mechanics and get ready. We’ve played good all year, we just can’t stop the bad inning.”

Christian McGuire of Canyon delivers a pitch during a game earlier this season. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]

District 4-4A

Canyon cruises past Hereford

Perryton’s loss to Randall meant that Canyon clinched a playoff spot, but that didn’t keep the Eagles from continuing their winning ways, as they scored five runs in the top of the seventh to win at Hereford, 6-1.

The game was tied at 1-1 after six innings before Canyon (20-6-1, 9-3) busted out in the seventh, scoring five runs on only two hits. Carson Allen had the big hit in the inning with a two-run single and was the only Eagle who had two hits.

Christian McGuire pitched the first six innings to earn the win for the Eagles, giving up only one hit and an unearned run while striking out seven.

Randall beats Perryton to keep rolling

The Randall Raiders saw one auspicious streak end but kept the one that really counted going at Perryton.

Randall finally gave up run against Perryton and fell behind to start the game. However, rest of the game went the way the previous 11 district contests have for the Raiders, as they beat the Rangers 7-1 to stay unbeaten atop the district.

The Raiders (18-9, 12-0) had already clinched the district championship, thanks in huge part to their pitching. They saw their streak of 33 straight innings in district play without giving up a run come to an end when Perryton (10-18, 5-7) scored in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead.

But that was all the Rangers managed off Randall ace Carson Haffner. It was business as usual for the senior left-hander, who gave up three hits and struck out 12 with only one walk. The only run against Haffner was unearned, as the Raiders stretched their streak without allowing an earned run in district to 65 innings.

It was actually a tight game for four innings as it was tied 1-1 after four. But the Raiders scored six runs over the last three innings to seal the win.

Brae Silva had two hits and drove in two runs for Randall while Breken Melton also drove in two runs and Ty Hoelting had three hits.

West Plains rips Borger

West Plains was another Canyon ISD team who wasn’t slowed down after clinching a playoff berth. The Wolves jumped on Borger for 11 runs in the first three innings and rolled to a 12-2 five-inning run-rule victory on the road to stay tied for second in the district with Canyon.

Jonnie Gifford got West Plains (22-6, 9-3) rolling with a two-run home run in the first inning as the Wolves went up 6-0. They scored five more in the third to go up 11-1.

Gifford led West Plains at the plate by driving in three runs. Julyen Aguilera, Jaydan Gibson and Reid Macon combined on the mound to give up only two hits.

Borger fell to 5-17-1 and 1-10. In another 4-4A game, Pampa downed Dumas 11-5.

District 1-3A

Bushland pounds Tulia to win district crown

The Bushland Falcons pushed all formalities aside at home to again show they’re the best program in the district, as they jumped on Tulia early and cruised to an 11-1 run-rule victory in five innings to clinch the district championship and stay unbeaten atop the district.

Bushland (21-2-1, 8-0) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, then scored seven in the bottom of the second for a 10-1 lead. Brecken Adams hit a two-run homer and Cannon Melban had a two-run double to highlight the inning.

Dawson Jaco pitched all five innings and gave up three hits in the win. Tulia fell to 18-5 and 5-3 and remained in second place with a playoff berth.

River Road outslugs Friona

River Road stayed in the playoff hunt with a big offensive performance. scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat Friona 16-13 at home.

The Wildcats (9-10, 2-6) trailed 13-12 heading into the bottom of the sixth but took the lead as Alex Warren, Manuel Velarde and Samuel Delgado all drove in runs with singles. Aaron Lovett, who pitched 5 2/3 innings in relief, pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win.

Tagan McLean led River Road with two hits and drove in five runs. With the loss, Friona (3-14, 1-7) was eliminated from playoff contention.

Dalhart won the other District 1-3A game on Friday beating Dimmitt 11-8.

District 1-2A/ 2-2A

In District 1-2A, West Texas High was able to take care of Sanford-Fritch 8-5 while Booker beat up Boys Ranch 11-1.

The Kiowas (10-3) stay in third place of the district at 6-3 while the Comanches (10-10) remain in the four spot at 5-5.

Looking at District 2-2A, Nazareth swept a doubleheader from Kress on Thursday with a 10-4 win in game one and an 8-5 victory in the night cap.

Will Young had a great day at the plate for the Swifts going a combined 4-for-7 with a double and three RBIs.

Nazareth is (9-5) is 6-1 in District 2-2A while Kress (7-12) slips to 2-4. The Kangaroos also dropped a league clash to Shamrock on Friday as the Irish got a 7-2 win.

Wellington bounced back from a loss on Tuesday with a 17-5 win over Claude. The Skyrockets are 5-3 overall and 4-2 in district.

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