Amarillo High, Randall sweep over three days, tied for 3-5A lead

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Randall’s Kole Dudding beats out a throw to first during a District 3-5A game at Tascosa on Friday afternoon. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]

By Lee Passmore

In a District 3-5A schedule which was compacted thanks to weather last week, the Amarillo High Sandies stretched things out at the plate over three days.

The Sandies finished vanquishing their Amarillo ISD rivals Saturday afternoon with a 16-7 victory at Tascosa which completed a sweep of AISD schools going back to Thursday. As lopsided as the win over Tascosa was, the Rebels shouldn’t feel so bad considering that they played Amarillo High (11-5, 4-1 in district) closer than either of the first two city opponents the Sandies defeated the previous two days.

AHS opened the week with a pair of 10-run five-inning mercy rule wins, beating Caprock 15-1 on Thursday then routing Palo Duro 10-0 on Friday. Offensively, though, those games were a mere warmup for Tascosa.

The Sandies scored in all but one inning against the Rebels (7-10-1, 2-3), as only one of their starters failed to record a hit. They pounded out 22 hits against Tascosa.

“After the slow start last week runs were really hard to come by,” AHS coach Randon Johnson said. “I told the guys if we could get off three runs we’d feel really good about ourselves. We found a way to win one last week without the big inning, but it’s a lot funner when you get out there and you put those big innings together.”

Amarillo High has now won four straight and is tied for the district lead with Randall and Plainview after losing the district opener to Plainview. The Sandies started their winning streak with a 3-1 win at Randall, but that still only matched their offensive output from a 5-3 loss to Plainview.

The closest the Sandies came to being in trouble was at the end of the first inning Saturday. Red-hot Will Franklin got the Sandies on the board with an RBI single in the top of the first and Tascosa tied it with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning on Josh Splawn’s sacrifice fly.

But Amarillo High took the lead for good in the top of the second on Brock Wade’s single which scored Zach Swinney to make it 2-1. The Sandies added two more runs (one unearned) in the top of the third, then went up 7-1 in the fourth on Franklin’s two-run home run off Tascosa starter Davis Yaws, ended the damage they did to Yaws.

“It’s not only carryover from games past, but guys had big at-bats in innings,” Johnson said. “We’ve talked about all year one guy does something well and people seem to follow it. We’re just looking for that guy in any given spot.”

Franklin was so hot at the plate over three days that he might have gotten away with using a wiffle ball bat. He was 5-for-5 against Tascosa, falling a triple short of hitting for the cycle.

That wasn’t even Franklin’s best game of the week, as he drove in six runs against Caprock. All told, Franklin was 11-for-12 and drove in 10 runs.

Tascosa made things interesting by cutting the lead to 7-5 in the bottom of the fifth. But the Sandies sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the sixth against Tascosa reliever Lincoln Keller, getting four straight hits with one out and seven for the inning to boost their lead to 13-5 and reclaim the momentum for good.

Franklin wasn’t the only Amarillo High hitter to produce against Tascosa. Jake Self was 3-for-4 and drove in three runs and Braize Mitchell and Wade also had three hits apiece, as seven Amarillo High batters had at least two hits.

In the middle game of the week’s sweep, the Sandies also got a stellar mound performance. Left-hander Sawyer Shipman threw a five-inning no-hitter against Palo Duro, throwing only 48 pitches.

Randall dominates in three victories

If hitting was the signature for Amarillo High last week, then pitching was the calling card for district co-leader Randall. The Raiders scored a pair of identical shutout routs to open the week before crushing Caprock 20-1 in five innings on Saturday to make their statement in the district race.

Randall (12-7, 4-1) beat Plainview 9-0 on Thursday then followed that by beating Tascosa by an identical score. The pitching was pretty much the same in both games, as Andrew Ramos threw six shutout innings to beat Plainview and Payton Bush did the same against Tascosa.

In five district games, the Raiders have given up four runs and only three earned.

“I think we have more depth on the mound than we’ve had in a long time,” Randall coach Cory Hamilton said. “These guys, we’ve used them in the front end of games as starters, we’ve used them on the back end and we’ve used them as setup guys. I’m really impressed with them because they’ve gone out there and done what we’ve asked them to do and attack the strike zone.”

Carson Haffner threw four innings to pick up the win over Caprock (7-9. 0-5). Hitting was the big story in that game, though, as the Raiders had 20 hits.

Hagen Shedd had two hits and drove in two runs and Kaden Juarez was 4-for-4 and drove in three runs. Five Raiders had at least two hits.

District 4-4A

Canyon routs Perryton

Canyon started district play in solid fashion, jumping out to an early lead and rolling to a 13-2 run-rule victory over Perryton on Friday.

Leadoff hitter Hunter Anderson led the Eagles (8-6, 1-0 in district) with two hits and drove in three runs. Blade Beaty and Javin Cash drove in two runs apiece.

Other district games

Dumas 6, Hereford 2

Pampa 16, Borger 4

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