Amarillo High’s Brock Wade smashes a double to deep centerfield against Tascosa during a District 3-5A game at Hodgetown on Friday night. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
It seemed almost predestined that Amarillo High and Tascosa would get settled in for a long one to close the regular season Friday night at Hodgetown.Appropriately enough for two teams who will keep it going into the postseason starting next week, they showed a little bit of everything. But it was Amarillo High who ended up with a little more and solidified its standing out of District 3-5A.In what turned out to be a typical Hodgetown night offensively, the two teams combined for 23 hits and both went through five pitchers apiece. Amarillo High survived the battle of attrition thanks in large part to seven runs in the top of the ninth to top Tascosa 15-8 and take the No. 2 playoff seed out of the district.The Sandies (18-8, 11-4 in district) will take on Lubbock Coronado next week in the bidistrict round of the playoffs and Tascosa (11-16-1, 6-9), already assured the No. 4 seed, will face Lubbock Cooper.Neither team scored a lot in terms of style points, although they both compensated in terms of runs. In that regard, the game lived up to the hype provided by the venue.“We tried to put it out there how important this game is from the get-go and I think if you’re 16, 17 or 18 years old, if you can’t get excited about Tascosa at Hodgetown to finish up the regular season in a game that means a lot then you’re probably doing the wrong thing,” AHS coach Randon Johnson said. “We’re definitely excited about the outcome and having the opportunity to be the two seed.”Amarillo High never trailed, and took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on a hit batter and a groundout. The Sandies led 3-0 going into the bottom of the third before Tascosa responded with three runs to tie it, thanks in part to two Amarillo High throwing errors.But Amarillo High grabbed momentum back in the top of the fourth with five runs against three Tascosa pitchers. Will Franklin’s RBI single off Brayden Keeter gave the Sandies a 4-3 lead, then with two outs and the bases loaded, Brock Wade doubled the opposite way to right off reliever Levi Homen to clear the bases and make it 7-3.It was the second of two doubles for Wade, who had three hits and drove in four runs.“This game was hyped up and you’re ready for it and we came to the park today super excited,” Wade said. “I was so glad I could come through for my team in a big spot. I think I just had to stay aggressive and look for my pitches and not watch my pitch go by. Just keep it simple and not try to do too much.”The Sandies led 8-3 at the end of the half-inning but Tascosa didn’t go away without a fight. In the bottom of the fifth, Brayden Keeter hit a two-run double as the Rebels cut the deficit to 8-6.Tascosa still had a chance as the score stayed that way headed into the seventh. But Tascosa reliever Lincoln Keller, who had pitched effectively up to that point, lost his control, hitting a batter and walking the next two to load the bases before he was pulled. Cannon Davis and Jaxsen Hall then drove in runs with singles and Hadley Cox hit a two-run double to highlight an inning where the Sandies sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs.“We’re going to see better pitchers and we’re going to see better defenses, so the bottom line is we’ve got to be better,” Johnson said. “Probably the recipe we had out there tonight is not for a very long playoff run. We’re looking for the guys to focus a little bit more and I know they can do it.”Wade and Will Franklin both had three hits apiece for the Sandies. Keeter had three hits for the Rebels. Randall stomps CaprockDistrict champion Randall provided an appropriate snapshot of its season, as the Raiders scored seven unanswered runs to open the game and rolled to an 11-1 victory at Caprock to close the regular season.Randall (22-7, 14-1) scored two runs in the top of the first for all the offense the Raiders would need. They added two in the third and three in the fourth for a 7-0 lead.Payton Bush went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead Randall. Kole Dudding had two hits and scored three runs, and Mason Gilbert capped the scoring with a grand slam in the top of the seventh.Caprock finished the season 10-16 and 3-12. Plainview routs Palo DuroPalo Duro took an early lead against Plainview at home, but the playoff-bound Bulldogs dominated the rest of the way, handing Palo Duro an 11-1 loss to end the season for the Dons.In the bottom of the first, Palo Duro (4-20, 1-14) took a 1-0 lead when with two outs Leslie Shaw tripled and scored on Jayden Garza’s single. But the Dons had only one hit after that.Plainview (15-15-1, 10-5) then scored four runs in the top of the second to start a string of 11 unanswered runs. The Bulldogs took the lead for good on back-to-back doubles by Damian Jiminez and Chance Winders. District 1-3ABushland crushes TuliaBushland finished district play with a perfect 10 in every way imaginable.For the 10th time in 10 district games, the Falcons invoked the 10-run mercy rule, as they destroyed Tulia 33-3 to put an exclamation point on their district championship season.Freshman Jaxon Fetch led the hit parade, going 5-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs. Eli Williams was 3-for-3 with five RBIs, Clayton Fisher had three hits and drove in three runs and Josh Bass homered and drove in four runs.Sophomore Cannon Melban struck out nine in five innings, as Bushland finished the regular season 19-2 and 10-0.
Second place seeding gamePampa 6, Dumas 4 (9)
West Texas 4, Booker 1
Wellington 16, Kress 2
Nazareth 1, Claude 0