High School Baseball Amarillo-area roundup


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Bushland’s Kade Gavina tags out a River Road runner during a District 1-3A clash at the Falcons Baseball Complex on Tuesday. [Ryder Grace Liles/ Press Pass Sports]

Bushland dominates River Road in 1-3A opener

It’s a new year, new coach and even a new field for the Bushland Falcons, but they started off District 1-3A with the same old results Tuesday afternoon.

Bushland did nothing to spoil its reputation as the preeminent program in the district in hosting River Road at its new field on campus. In their first home district game on their field, the No. 6 Falcons rolled past the Wildcats 10-0, invoking the 10-run mercy rule in five innings.

After a season last year in which they didn’t play a single game on campus due to the construction of a new diamond, but nonetheless still went unbeaten in district, the Falcons (14-2-1, 1-0 in district) looked perfectly at home in beating River Road (7-5, 0-1). It couldn’t have been a more auspicious start in district play for first-year Bushland coach Todd Espe.

“It was a great way to open on our new field for Teacher Appreciation Day,” said Espe, acknowledging a pregame ceremony during with each Falcon was accompanied to their introductions by their favorite Bushland teacher. “We swung it well and played good defense.”

The Falcons got only six hits, but they took advantage of five River Road errors, two wild pitches and a passed ball. Bushland made no such miscues, mainly because of the performance on the mound by Cannon Melban.

River Road managed only three singles off Melban, who struck out 12 and walked none. The biggest question the Falcons might face on the mound is if they should consider Melban or Dawson Jaco their ace.

“They’re probably 1A and 1B to be honest with you,” Espe said. “We’ve thrown right guys during our predistrict schedule so we’d have loose arms when it comes to the district race. That helps the further we go.”

Bushland’s Breckan Adams rounds third on his way to score against River Road on Tuesday. [Ryder Grace Liles/ Press Pass Sports]
Melban was tough from the start, as he didn’t allow a ball to be hit out of the infield until Tegan McLean’s single to left center to lead off the fourth.

“I just threw the fastball inside, and if (the WIldcats) can catch it, my team can knock it down, and they couldn’t ever catch up with the fastball,” Melban said. “I’ve been on varsity three years in a row and I’ve faced these guys and I’ve been able to shut them down.”

Melban got all the support he needed when Bushland got three runs off River Road starter Alex Warren and never looked back.

With one out, Max Rodriguez singled to right-center, stole second then went to third when the throw went into the outfield. Warren then hit Jaxon Fetsch with a pitch and uncorked a wild pitch to allow Rodriguez to score the game’s first run.

Brecken Adams then lined a pitch deep in the gap to left-center to score Fetsch and came all the way around to score for an inside-the-park home run and a 3-0 lead to set the tone for the rest of the way.

“I thought it was going to be a triple because I didn’t get a great break on it,” Adams said. “We’re kind of a team who once we get going we’re hard to stop so that gave us momentum. We have a lot of guys who can run so we know how to get around the bases for sure.”

The Falcons scored an unearned run in the second and Warren left after three innings with River Road trailing 4-0 and was relieved by Manuel Velarde. Noah Krause tripled with one out, then Velarde issued three straight walks and a wild pitch to bring home a run before Adams hit a two-run single to make it 7-0 and eventually earn Velarde a ticket out of the game.

Aaron Lovett entered in relief but was betrayed by his defense, as Stratton Molloy both reached on errors to bring home two more runs which achieved the run-rule margin. Velarde singled off Melban with one out in the fifth, but Melban struck out the next two batters to end the game early.

“In the game of high school baseball, it’s who plays the best catch and we had a few little miscues,” River Road coach Bart Upchurch said. “They took advantage of it and you have to tip your hat to them. We don’t live and die on one game. There’s 10 district games and we competed well.”

In the other 1-3A games, Tulia opens district getting a 6-2 win over Dimmitt and Dalhart knocks off Friona 17-4.

District 3-5A

Amarillo High blanks Caprock

Payne Williams continued to dominate on the mound for Amarillo High, posting his second straight shutout against an Amarillo ISD rival, as the Sandies beat Caprock 8-0 at Sandie Field to stay unbeaten atop the district.

Williams pitched eight innings and gave up only two hits while striking out eight. The right-hander wasn’t quite as dominant as he was in last week’s 10-0 win over Tascosa, when he pitched a complete-game one-hitter, but he was more than good enough for Amarillo High (15-8, 5-0).

The Sandies gave Williams all the help he needed with two runs in the bottom of the second. Mello Castillo had a big game at the plate for Amarillo High, with two hits and four RBIs. Clayton Norrell had two hits and scored two runs and Max McLemore scored three runs.

Caprock (5-12, 1-3) will host Amarillo High at 5 p.m. Thursday to conclude the season series between the two teams.

In the district’s other game, Plainview beat Tascosa 6-1 at Tascosa. The Rebels (5-15, 2-3) stayed at third place in the district while Plainview (11-12, 4-1) remained in second.

District 4-4A

Canyon edges Hereford

In dramatic fashion, the Canyon Eagles retained sole possession of second place in the district against Hereford.

Carson Allen’s single in the bottom of the seventh lifted the Eagles to a 2-1 victory at Conner Field in the latest of close games for Canyon. The Eagles are now 15-4-1 and 4-1.

Hereford (12-6, 2-3) scored an unearned run off Canyon starter Christian McGuire in the top of the fifth for a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, Canyon scored an unearned run to tie it 1-1, setting up Allen for the big hit in the seventh.

Colt Cruth pitched the final inning in relief to earn the win for the Eagles.

Randall routs Perryton

Randall remained unbeaten on top of the district by cruising past Perryton 12-0 in a run-rule win in five innings at home.

It was a close game for three innings, but the Raiders (11-10, 5-0) blew it open with nine runs in the fourth inning to attain the run-rule margin.

Leadoff hitter Carson Haffner had two hits and drove in three runs, including a home run, while Brae Silva drove in two runs and Kaison Benton and Breken Melton both had two hit and scored two runs.

Silva was the winning pitcher, throwing four innings and giving up one hit as Perryton fell to 7-14 and 2-3.

West Plains crushes Borger

West Plains took over third place all alone in district by ripping Borger 17-3 in a five-inning run-rule win at home as four pitchers combined for a no-hitter.
The Wolves (16-5, 3-2) set the tone early by scoring six runs apiece in each of the first two innings. They were helped by Borger (5-11-1, 1-4), who committed five errors.
Bradley Cepeda and Bryton Bertrand both had two hits for West Plains, while Johnie Gifford drove in two runs.
Ethan Bentley, Micah Velasquez, Jeremiah Gutierrrez and Sean Wadsworth combined for the no-hitter.

Dumas edges Pampa despite being no-hit 

The Dumas Demons didn’t earn a hit against Pampa starting pitcher Isaiah Anguiano, however, the Demons still managed to pull out a 2-1 win against the Harvesters on Tuesday afternoon.

Dumas’ two runs came in the bottom of the third inning. Trailing 1-0, Cade Torrez hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game, 1-1. Moments later, a wild pitch from Anguiano plated Demons baserunner Jacob Saenz for the eventual game-winning run.

Dumas pitcher Jace Torrez was also dealing on the bump going all seven innings allowing only two hits with an earned run with five K’s. Anguiano’s line goes six innings for a no-hitter but did have two walks with six strikeouts.

Pampa committed three hurtful errors in the loss. Dumas improves to 6-13 overall and 2-3 in district. The Harvesters drop to 5-11 overall and 1-4.

Brodey Stone of West Texas High delivers a pitch against Sanford-Fritch during a District 1-2A game on Tuesday. [Tucker Stroud/ Press Pass Sports]

District 1-2A

Gruver, West Texas High and Booker win 

Gruver, Booker and West Texas High all grabbed district wins on a chilly Tuesday afternoon.

The Greyhounds crushed Follett 14-2, Booker rolled over Boys Ranch 19-1 and West Texas High rallied past Sanford-Fritch 5-3.

The Comanches and Eagles were tied 3-3 heading into the top of the seventh before WT High managed to get two runs across for the lead. Those big runs came in the form of a wild pitch that scored Rowdy Rise and Cayde Winters.

Brodey Stone was dealing the entire way for the Comanches tossing a complete game, scattering six hits, allowing three earned runs but did ring up nine strikeouts.

The Comanches move to 7-7 overall and 3-2 in District 1-2A. Fritch falls to 4-7 overall and 1-2 in the league.

Gruver opened up the game on the Panthers with an eight-run top of the sixth. Warrik Tindell had a double on a 2-for-4 day with a pair of RBIs. Teammate Brock Butler was 3-for-4 with an RBI and worked five innings on the mound with five strikeouts.

The Greyhounds (7-4) stay atop the district with Booker at 4-1. Follett drops to 0-5 overall and in district.

District 2-2A 

Clarendon run-rules Wellington 

Clarendon stayed hot to kick off district by dismantling Wellington 21-5 on Tuesday afternoon.

The Broncos jump started the game scoring 14 runs in the first three innings.

Harrison Howard was clutch at the plate going 2-for-3 with two doubles driving in a game-high five RBIs. Mason Allred complimented Howard with a pair of doubles of his own tallying four RBIs on the day.

Clarendon (8-1-2) is off to a 2-0 start to 2-2A. Wellington (1-3) is now 1-1 in district.

In the other district matchups, Memphis downed Shamrock 23-9 and Claude blanked Valley 15-0.

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