High School baseball bi-district roundup: Randall cruises, Hereford stuns Andrews, Gruver nabs emotional wins

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Randall’s Payton Bush makes the turn for second for a double during a Class 4A bi-district game against Seminole on Friday in Plainview. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]

Class 4A

Randall gets past Seminole

The Randall Raiders got off to an uncharacteristically slow start to begin their series against Seminole on Thursday evening.

However, you don’t go unbeaten in district, win 24 straight games going into the playoffs and earn a No. 3 ranking in the state without finishing strong.

Seminole scored three runs against Randall in the bottom of the first inning to start game one at Lubbock Cooper. But that was the high-water mark for the Indians in the series, as Randall closed the game with seven unanswered runs to coast to a 7-3 victory.

The Raiders had fewer problems on Friday, taking the lead early and rolling to a 9-3 victory to complete the series sweep.

Randall (30-3) has now won 26 straight games. The Raiders will play El Paso Bowie next Thursday and Friday in a best-of-three area round series in Seminole.

Seminole (13-14-1) took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first in game one. But the Raiders chipped away at the lead, going ahead with three runs in the top of the fourth and never trailed again.

Dylan Ray drove in three runs for the Raiders and Kole Dudding had three hits. Carson Haffner struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings.

Canyon rolls over Pecos

In a matchup of Eagles, Canyon easily soared higher, as they scored a pair of run-rule wins over Pecos, winning 15-1 on Friday and 12-1 on Saturday at Seminole to advance to the area round.

Canyon (23-7) will play El Paso Riverside in the area round next week.

In terms of sheer dominance, Canyon may have had the most impressive first round of all the area teams. The Eagles were the only team to win both games by run-rule.

While it seemed like everyone for Canyon had a big series at the plate, Christian McGuire was just about perfect. McGuire was 6-for-6 and drove in three runs, including a double and a triple. He closed out the series by pitching a perfect inning.

The Hereford baseball team advanced to the Class 4A area round after a sweep of Andrews on Friday and Saturday. [Provided photo]

Hereford surprises Andrews

Hereford pulled off what might have been the surprise of the first round, as the Whitefaces swept Andrews at Floydada to advance.

The Herd won the first game 6-1 on Friday, then completed the sweep with a 5-0 victory Saturday. Hereford (19-9-2) will take on San Elizario in the area round next week.

In the first game, Hereford jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, and that was all starting pitcher Carlos Duran needed. Duran threw a complete game, striking out seven and scattering five hits.

The Herd had only four hits in that game, but Tell Bryant carried them at the plate with two hits and five RBIs.

Hereford’s pitching was dominant, giving up only one run in 14 innings. Andrews finished the season 20-10.

West Plains swept by Greenwood

First-year West Plains acquitted itself nicely but it wasn’t enough to advance to the next round, as the Wolves lost a pair of games to Greenwood, 5-3 and 3-2 at Lubbock Coronado to finish their inaugural season 19-12.

West Plains never led in the first game, but made things interesting by scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh on Thursday. Friday’s game was even more competitive, as the Wolves scored a pair of runs in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead.

But Greenwood rallied against West Plains starter Bryton Bertrand, and with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Jaxon Ramos drove in the game-winning run.

Class 5A

Palo Duro swept by Monterey 

In making their first playoff appearance in 25 years, the Palo Duro Dons enjoyed a festive atmosphere at home Saturday afternoon against Lubbock Monterey in the Class 5A bidistrict round.

But it couldn’t keep their season from ending, albeit later than it has any time since 1998.

Against a perennial playoff program, Palo Duro couldn’t manage a run in two games but didn’t go down without a fight. The Dons stayed within striking distance in the second game of their best-of-three series with Monterey before losing 3-0.

It was an improvement over Friday’s first game, which the Dons (14-16) dropped 10-0 in a five-inning 10-run mercy rule decision in Lubbock. They played in front of a much friendlier atmosphere in the second game, as several fans sported shirts commemorating a playoff appearance, something the school’s baseball team couldn’t claim for a quarter century.

“I like the fans here,” Palo Duro coach Tyson Wormsbaker said. “Our kids play better when they’re here. That support means a lot. There’s been some years where there haven’t been many in the stands so it’s been great. Everybody’s jumped on and we just need to keep rolling.”

In a game where runs were tough to come by, Monterey (18-16) got the only run it needed when Cross Stephens hit the second pitch of the game from Ruben Zavala well over the left field fence to put the Plainsmen on the board. It was the first of two homers to left Stephens hit off Zavala on a 1-0 pitch, with the second being a solo shot to lead off the fifth which gave Monterey a 3-0 lead, which under the conditions, proved insurmountable.

Palo Duro’s best chance to break through came in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Leslie Shaw had been the only baserunner against Monterey starter JaMarcus Smith up to that point when he drew a walk in the first. After that, Smith retired 13 straight hitters.

However, Charlie Love led off the sixth with a single up the middle off Smith and went to second on Zavala’s sacrifice. Aiden Rivero then singled sharply to right to put runners on the corners.

Any potential uprising died, though, when Rivero was thrown out trying to steal second. Smith then struck out Jacob Jimenez to end the inning, and retired the side in the seventh to seal the win and end Palo Duro’s season.

But the Dons were playing a meaningful game in May for the first time since the previous millennium, which made it a special day on campus. None of this year’s Palo Duro team was even born the last time that happened.

Shaw is one of only four seniors who were around for the lean years, and he appreciated the opportunity.

“It means a lot,” Shaw said. “I’m proud of this team. I think they’ve got more potential than anything. Our team was young so they’re going to do better next year.”

Amarillo High swept by Abilene High

The Amarillo High Sandies played a close one and a lopsided one against Abilene High at Lubbock-Cooper.

Unfortunately, they were on the wrong end of both scores.

Amarillo High gave up a run in the sixth inning of Friday’s first game and fell in a heartbreaker, 6-5. There were no such questions in the second game, as Abilene led the whole way and rolled to a 13-4 victory to complete the series sweep.

The Sandies finished the season 18-12-2.

In the first game, Amarillo High took a 3-1 lead with three runs in the top of the second. Noah Markert hit a two-run double and scored on a wild pitch.

However, the Eagles (18-14) tied the game in the bottom of the third and took a 4-3 lead in the fourth. The Sandies took a 5-4 lead on Jaxsen Hall’s two-run double in the fifth, but that would be the last time they led this season.

Abilene High took the lead in the sixth on Jake Breckenridge’s RBI single. Amarillo High’s Will Flaming got as far as second base with the tying run in the seventh but was left standing there.

The second game was nowhere near as suspenseful. Abilene jumped out to a 6-0 lead and the Sandies never recovered.

Caprock falls to Lubbock-Cooper

Caprock had a similar series to Amarillo High against Lubbock-Cooper. The Longhorns gave Cooper a fight at home on Friday before losing the first game 3-2, then went south for the second game and lost 12-2 in a run-rule decision.

In the first game, heavy favorite Cooper took a 3-0 lead before Caprock (5-23-1) got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. The Longhorns got the tying run to third base that inning but couldn’t convert.

Cooper (22-15) wasted no time in the second game, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first to take the early lead. The Pirates scored six in the bottom of the third to attain the run-rule margin.

Bushland’s Ty Purcell celebrates after hitting a homer against Childress in a Class 3A bi-district game at Plainview on Friday. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]

Class 3A

Bushland rolls by Childress

A change in venue didn’t slow down Bushland to open the playoffs.

The Falcons were scheduled to play two games to open their series Thursday against Childress at Hodgetown. However, a wet field was deemed unplayable, forcing the series to be moved to Plainview’s Wayland Baptist University on Friday. There, Bushland won the first game 14-8 then took the second 22-2 in a run-rule.

Bushland (25-3) will take on Brownfield next week in a best of three series at Plainview High.

The Falcons had won all 10 of their District 1-3A games by run rule but had to fight to beat Childress (10-12) in the series opener. Childress actually led 5-4 at one point, but Bushland took control of the game with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Bushland had what’s become a more typical outing in the second game. The Falcons scored six runs in the top of the first and seven in the third to attain the run-rule margin.

River Road eliminated by Slaton

River Road didn’t have the same type of luck at Wayland Baptist as district rival Canyon. The Wildcats were swept by Slaton, losing the first game 10-0 in six innings on Friday, then fighting hard but losing the second game 9-5 on Saturday.

In the second game, River Road (14-12) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut it to 8-5, but got no closer. Mason Henderson drove in two runs for the Wildcats.

The Gruver Greyhounds swept the Memphis Cyclones on Friday to advance to the Class 2A area round. [Provided photo]

Class 2A

Gruver wins despite coaching emergency

The Gruver Greyhound baseball team had to play with heavy hearts and heavy focus after getting a major scare before their Class 2A bi-district clash with Memphis in Borger on Friday.

Before Friday’s game, head coach Khris Kelp suffered a heart attack and was air lifted from Borger to Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo. The great news is coach Kelp is improving and will make a full recovery.

Without Kelp, that left assistant baseball coach Jackson Kashwer and softball coach Hunter Sydgwick to fill in and the two did an outstanding job.

Gruver (13-7) stepped up and rallied for their coach by blasting Memphis in a two-game sweep by a 13-3 score in Game 1, followed by a 22-0 shutout in Game 2.

Jefferson Weaver had a strong outing on the bump in the first game going 5.2 innings allowing only two hits with five strikeouts. Colt Matthews was 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of RBIs. In the Game 2 victory, Matthews added three more RBIs and Weaver was 3-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs of his own.

Clarendon sweeps West Texas High

The Clarendon Broncos had no issues in the Class 2A bi-district round by taking out West Texas High with a 12-1 win in Game 1, then a 25-4 run-rule blowout in Game 2 at Tascosa High School on Thursday and Friday.

The Broncos (18-5) advance to the area round to face Sundown with a best-of-three series starting at 11 a.m. on Thursday in Floydada.

Easton Frausto did it all in the Game 1 win going 2-for-3 at the dish with a pair of doubles totaling five RBIs. Frausto also tossed five innings on the mound with 10 strikeouts. In the Game 2 victory, Lyric Smith led Clarendon with a 2-for-5 effort including a double and five RBIs. Levi Gates and Jared Musick both added three RBIs.

H.S. bi-district scores

Class 3A

Idalou sweeps Friona
Game 1: Idalou 11, Friona 1
Game 2: Idalou 16, Friona 2
Records: Idalou 20-4; Friona 12-13.

Shallowater sweeps Dalhart
Game 1: Shallowater 10, Dalhart 0
Game 2: Shallowater 13, Dalhart 0
Records: Shallowater 20-9-1; Dalhart 10-8.

Class 2A

Sunray sweeps Shamrock
Game 1: Sunray 12, Shamrock 1
Game 2: Sunray 22, Shamrock 0
Records: Sunray 18-4; Shamrock 2-12.

Sanford-Fritch 21, Wellington 8 (one-game series)
Records: Fritch 5-11; Wellington 7-8-1.

Class 1A

Claude 14, Follett 13 (one-game series) 
Records: Claude 14-9; Follett 4-8.

 

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