High School Baseball bi-district roundup


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Amarillo High’s Clayton Norrell delivers a pitch against Lubbock Monterey during a Class 5A bi-district game at Sandie Field on Saturday. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]

Amarillo High bats struggle in season-ending loss to Monterey 

For two days over the weekend, the Amarillo High Sandies got half of the formula for winning playoff baseball correct.

It was the other half they struggled with, and as a result, their season is over all too quickly.

Despite giving up only six earned runs in two games against Lubbock Monterey in their Class 5A bi-district series, the Sandies saw their season come to an end Saturday afternoon at Sandie Field. Amarillo High stayed in game two against Monterey before the Plainsmen scored three unearned runs in the top of the seventh as insurance to hand the Sandies a 7-3 defeat and complete a 2-0 sweep in the best-of-three series.

Coupled with Friday’s 2-1 loss in Lubbock to open the series, it’s easy to see by just looking at the numbers why Amarillo High (22-10) isn’t advancing. The Sandies had only 10 hits in two games, spoiling a pair of solid complete-game performances by right-hander Payne Williams on Friday and left-hander Clayton Norrell on Saturday.

“Throughout the year we’ve struggled not necessarily at the plate as a whole but sometimes with timely hitting,” AHS coach Randon Johnson said. “I think that was something that we saw again. We did a big hit late in the game, but for the most part we left a lot of guys out there.”

Amarillo High never led in the second game and trailed 4-1 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. It looked like Rylan Leathers had grounded to short for the third out, which the first base umpire called, but a conference ruled that Anthony Johnson’s high throw drew first baseman Hector Villegas off the bag, and Leathers was ruled safe.

Mello Castillo made the Plainsmen (16-17-1) pay for it one pitch later, as he lined Jackson Jolly’s pitch to centerfield. Monterey’s Will Collier dove and couldn’t come up with it, allowing not only Leathers to score, but Castillo to come around for an inside-the-park home run cutting the lead to 4-3.

Monterey got runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the seventh and opted to walk Ja’Marcus Smith (the winning pitcher in game one)  and bring Brady Cantu to the plate. The decision backfired, as Cantu doubled to left off Clayton Norrell to clear the bases and crush whatever momentum the Sandies had built.

Cantu also had a two-run single in the third off Norrell to give Monterey a 4-0 lead. Norrell gave a gutsy performance, though, in keeping the Sandies in the game long enough to make it interesting heading into the seventh.

“Our guys on the mound battled,” Johnson. “When you get into the playoffs every pitch is a big pitch. Those guys did exactly what they needed to do, we just didn’t support them at the plate nearly enough.”

Still, the Sandies weren’t quite finished. With one out in the sixth, they loaded the bases against Jolly, bringing up cleanup hitter Colton Flores as the tying run. However, Flores grounded into a double play to end the game and Amarillo High’s season.

That wasn’t quite as gut-wrenching as game one ended for the Sandies. Garrett Robertson was on second base with two outs as the tying run and Will Flaming singled to center, but Monterey’s Will Collier threw out Robertson at the plate to seal the win for Monterey.

The Plainsmen took that momentum up north and Jolly made that pay off by giving up six hits and walking none, despite striking out only one.

“(The Sandies) had two great guys on the mound in Williams and Norrell,” Monterey coach Ralph Ramon said. “Obviously we had two good guys as well and with the conditions last night and today, it was a pitchers’ day with the wind blowing in so hits were going to be hard to come by. Our pitchers grind and know what we expect out of them.”

Canyon’s Noah Sanchez celebrates during the Eagles win over Andrews on Friday. [Roy Wheeler/ Press Pass Sports]

Class 4A

Canyon sweeps Andrews

Canyon made it a clean sweep for the CISD schools with another stellar pitching performance, as the Eagles swept Andrews at Plainview to advance.

The Eagles won the first game 2-1 on Friday and the second game 7-2 on Saturday to advance. Canyon (23-7-1) will play Clint next week in area.

Colt Cruth pitched 4 1/3 innings as the starter to lead Canyon to the game one win. He got relief help from Zabien Urteaga and Bayler Schilling, who pitched the seventh for the save.

The Eagles got all then offense they needed with runs in the first and second innings.

Andrews (14-16-1) scored two runs in the bottom of the first in the second game, but Canyon closed the game with seven unanswered runs.

Carson Allen’s solo homer tied the game in the sixth and RBI single by Jacob Burris gave the Eagles the lead for good.

Christian McGuire threw the first five innings for the win and Schilling threw the last two for another save.

Randall rolls past Fort Stockton

The beat went on for Randall, as the Raiders stretched their winnng streak to 16 games by sweeping Fort Stockton at Seminole.

Randall beat Fort Stockton 10-5 to open the series Thursday, then completed the sweep Friday with a 3-0 victory. The Raiders (22-9), who went 14-0 in District 4-4A for the second straight season, will play El Paso Irvin next week in the area round.

They took control of the first game with five runs in the second inning for a 6-0 lead. Dylan Ray’s two-run double and Blain Brannon’s two-run singles were the big blows.

Ty Hoelting had three hits and drove in two runs for Randall, who had a big day at the plate against Fort Stockton (15-14). The Raiders had 14 hits and five players with at least two hits.
The second game was more about pitching for Randall, as senior left-hander Carson Haffner was in total control on the mound. Haffner gave up only one hit and struck out 11 for the win.

Kameron Johnson gave Haffner all the offensive support he needed with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second. Haffner himself had a two-run double later in the inning.

West Plains picks up first postseason gold glove

While Randall is an established Canyon ISD playoff perennial, West Plains showed it could be ready to join that club sooner rather than later. The Wolves won their first postseason series by sweeping Greenwood at Lubbock-Cooper thanks mainly to some stellar pitching.

West Plains won the first game Thursday 3-1 in nine innings and followed that up with a 3-0-win Friday to complete a sweep.

Last year the Wolves (27-6) were swept by Greenwood (15-12-1) in bi-district but they showed just how far they’ve come in only their second year.

The first game went to extra innings tied at 1-1 before West Plains scored two in the top of the ninth on an error and an RBI single by Kaiden Dorman. Bryton Bertrand pitched 8 1/3 innings for the win and Julyen Aguilera got the final two outs for the save.

In the second game, Ethan Bentley pitched six shutout innings for the win and Aguilera pitched the final inning for another save. The Wolves scored two runs in the bottom of the first for all the offense they’d need on Jonnie Gifford’s two-run homer.

West Plains will play El Paso Riverside in area.

Class 3A

Bushland dominates Slaton

Based on past performance, it was no surprise that Bushland had the most dominant one of the metro teams, as the Falcons had little trouble sweeping Slaton.

Bushland won the first game 12-3 on Friday at Plainview’s Wilder Field, then won the second 15-5 at Littlefield on Saturday to complete the sweep while claiming their 17th straight bi-district championship.

The Falcons (24-2-1) will take on Littlefield next week in the area round.

Slaton (11-15-1) took a 2-0 lead in the first game, but after that it was all Bushland. The Falcons took a 5-2 led by the fourth and put it away with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth.

In the second game, Bushland got on top with three runs in the top of the first and never looked back. Brecken Adams was 4-for-5 and drove in three runs and Jaxon Fetsch drove in two runs.

The Gruver Greyhounds won the Class 2A bi-district championship on Friday. [Provided photo]

Class 2A

Gruver takes down Memphis

The Gruver Greyhounds are moving on after downing Memphis 14-0 in the bi-district round on Friday in Stinnett.

The Greyhounds (15-6) advance to the area round and will battle New Home.

Brock Butler was the offensive spark going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three RBIs. Stephan Cowan was dealing on the mound throwing a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts.

Clarendon rolls past West Texas High

The Clarendon Broncos earned a sweep of West Texas High on Friday and Saturday in the bi-district round though it wasn’t easy.

The Broncos did pick up an 8-0 shutout on Friday but had to rally back with a nine-run seventh inning to win game two 11-7.

The Broncos trailed 7-2 heading into the top of the seventh on Saturday. All of a sudden the offense woke up. Clarendon tied it up, 7-7, on a Shane Hagood single. After taking an 8-7 lead, Harrison Howard provided some insurance on a two-run double.

Howard also had a big game one going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Clarendon (16-1-2) is headed to the area round to play Sudan or Tahoka.

Sunray smokes Shamrock

The Sunray Bobcats didn’t have any problems with Shamrock in the bi-district round getting a 19-1 win in the opener followed by an 18-2 series clinching victory.

The Bobcats (18-4) are headed to the area round of the playoffs to take on Ropesville with the first of a three-game series starting at 5 p.m. Friday at Plainview High School.

In the two wins, Luke Grajeda was a combined 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

Wellington doubles up Booker 

Wellington took down Booker in a one-game bi-district playoff by an 8-4 count on Thursday.

The Skyrockets jumped on Booker pitching scoring six runs in the first three innings. Noah Cantu went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.

Wellington (7-4) will take on either New Deal or Sundown in the area round.

Class 1A 

Claude sweeps Follett

It was a sweep for the Claude Mustangs against Follett in the bi-district round earlier this week.

Claude beat up Follett 15-2 in game one then had to hold off the Panthers 4-3 in the series clincher.

The Mustangs (14-6-1) advance to area to play Morton with the first of a three-game series starting at 5 p.m. Thursday at Wilder Field on the campus of Wayland Baptist.

Claude pitching was clutch in both wins. Jayden Blandford threw a complete game in the opener racking up 12 strikeouts while allowing one earned run. In game two it was teammate Braygon Conrad going all seven innings tallying 15 K’s.

H.S. Baseball bi-district scores

Class 5A

Abilene High def. Plainview 

Game 1: Abilene High 11, Plainview 3
Game 2: Plainview 5, Abilene High 3
Game 3: Abilene High 4, Plainview 3
Records: Abilene High 19-13-1; Plainview 14-18.

Abilene Wylie def. Caprock

Game 1: Abilene Wylie 6, Caprock 0
Game 2: Abilene Wylie 12, Caprock 2
Records: Abilene Wylie 26-5; Caprock 10-16.

Lubbock-Cooper def. Tascosa

Game 1: Cooper 15, Tascosa 0
Game 2: Cooper 5, Tascosa 3
Records: Lubbock-Cooper 22-13-1; Tascosa 8-20-1.

Class 4A

Seminole def. Perryton

Game 1: Seminole 3, Perryton 2
Game 2: Seminole 4, Perryton 0
Records: Seminole 23-9; Perryton 13-20.

Class 3A

Lubbock-Cooper Liberty def. Tulia

Game 1: Liberty 4, Tulia 3
Game 2: Liberty 5, Tulia 2
Records: Lubbock-Cooper Liberty 20-9; Tulia 19-8.

Idalou def. Dimmitt

Game 1: Idalou 21, Dimmitt 2
Game 2: Idalou 9, Dimmitt 0
Records: Idalou 20-7; Dimmitt 15-11.

Shallowater def. Dalhart

Game 1: Shallowater 13, Dalhart 0
Game 2: Shallowater 10, Dalhart 0
Records: Shallowater 23-8; Dalhart 8-10.

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