Amarillo High’s Tristan Curless delivers a pitch against Lubbock Coronado during a Class 5A bi-district clash at the Sandies Baseball Complex on Saturday. [Chase Seabolt/ Hub City Preps]
The experience of the No. 6 Amarillo High Sandies proved that one game does not a series make Saturday afternoon.
Following a one-run loss to Lubbock Monterey in Lubbock in the first game of their best-of-three Class 5A bidistrict series Friday evening, the Sandies returned home to Sandie Field knowing that they had little margin for error to continue their season. Instead, they made a young Monterey team feel the heat.
Amarillo High took advantage of the wind blowing out to right field and hit four home runs, three in the first game, which they won 12-2 in a five-inning 10-run mercy rule decision. That made the next game’s results less surprising, as they jumped to a big early lead and coasted to a 13-0 win in five innings to advance to the area round next week.
The Sandies (25-7) will play El Paso El Dorado at a time and place to be determined.
Saturday was a far cry from Friday night, when a late Amarillo High rally fell short in a 6-5 loss. The Sandies showed that was an aberration two lopsided wins later.
“I told the boys it’s a new day so we had to attack it like that,” AHS coach Randon Johnson said. “They’re amped up in front of their home crowd and the same thing happened over here, just on the opposite side. The wind’s blowing out, the guys came with their bats today. It worked out really good.”
Another tense struggle seemed possible early in game two. Amarillo High took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning then Monterey (12-21-1) tied it in the bottom of the second.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, though, things started turning for the Sandies. Davien Berry walked, then Cayden Phillips hit an opposite field two-run homer to right to make it 3-1 and Amarillo High kept the lead the rest of the day.
“I just wanted to get the team rallied around me,” said Phillips, who in the third game hit a three-run homer to approximately the same spot and drove in six runs. “I knew they’d follow so I set a good example and let them do their stuff afterwards. We told ourselves last night that it’s the playoffs and these things can happen so we were just ready to bounce back and came out hot today.”
Jett Johnson and Will Maynard both doubled home runs in the inning for a 5-1 lead and chase Monterey starter Josh Aleman by the end of the inning.
The Sandies assured themselves the run-rule margin with seven runs in the fourth off Monterey reliever Andrew Garcia. Berry and Jett Johnston both hit three-run homers to right in the inning.
Amarillo High’s Tristan Curless pitched four innings and struck out six while allowing three hits for the win. Since he hadn’t hit the 110-pitch limit for the day, he also started the third game and threw two scoreless innings.
It was another sign of Amarillo High’s seniors answering the call.
“I can tell you this group has a lot of skin in the game,” Johnson said. “The seniors were really the ones talking a lot last night in the dugout and on the bus ride. I didn’t have to say a whole lot cause those guys have been there and done that. They kind of led us today.”
Amarillo High’s first four batters reached base against Monterey starter Ryan Quintanilla in the third game. Berry’s bloop double drove in a run and Phillips (who was a single short of the cycle) hit a two-run double to right as the Sandies took a 4-0 lead.
Phillips hit a three-run homer in the second, then the Sandies blew it open with six in the third to attain the run-rule margin. They were helped by four Monterey errors that inning.
Curless had three hits and drove in two runs. Sandler Needham relieved him and threw 2 1/3 innings and Jacob Ferro preserved the shutout by recording the final two outs.
Raiders shut down Mustangs
One day after winning a slugfest in Lubbock, Randall won a much more conventional game over Lubbock Coronado at home making three runs in the bottom of the third hold up for a 5-1 victory which completed a series sweep at Randall.
Payton Bush had a solid outing on the mound for the Raiders (20-13-1), pitching 6 2/3 innings and striking out eight for the win. This came after Randall had to hold on for a 16-14 win over the Mustangs (22-11) on Friday at O’Banion Field.
A single by Noah Baker, a double by Hunter Phillips and a fielder’s choice grounder brought home Randall’s runs in the third for a 3-0 lead, which was all the cushion Bush needed.
The third inning was also where the Raiders came up big Friday. They scored seven runs in the inning to take the lead for good en route to winning a 16-14 barnburner.
Tascosa swept by Cooper
Tascosa found out why Lubbock Cooper is the No. 2 team in the state Friday night, as Cooper routed the Rebels twice.
Cooper won the first game 13-3 in six innings and rolled to a 16-3 win in the second game to complete a series sweep and end Tascosa’s season at Cooper. The Rebels finished the year 13-17.
Tascosa never led, although the Rebels did have a brief tie in the second game. Cooper (28-4) took control of the first game by scoring five runs in the bottom of the third and attained the 10-run mercy rule with three in the bottom of the sixth.
The Pirates took a 3-0 lead in the second game, but Tascosa cut it to 3-2 in the bottom of the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Javen Patrick and Logan Nance. Tascosa tied it 3-3 on an error in the bottom of the fourth.
But that was it for Tascosa’s scoring on the season, as Cooper regained control with six runs in the top of the fifth.
Canyon sweeps Lake View
The No. 3-ranked Canyon Eagles continued to live up to their state ranking by claiming a pair of five-inning run-rule wins to sweep San Angelo Lake View in Class 4A bi-district playoff action Friday,. Dimmitt won the first game 21-8 and rolling to victory in the second game 11-1 at Lubbock Estacado.
Game one was tied 3-3 after two innings before Canyon (26-3) erupted for 12 runs in the top of the third. The first eight batters reached base, capped by Landon Finke’s two-run double which made it 10-3. That was one of five doubles in the inning for the Eagles.
Catch Brown had three hits and drove in six runs for the Eagles while Finke drove in five and Ben Black knocked in four.
In the second game, Canyon broke open a close game with five runs in the bottom of the fourth to go up 8-1. Black and Brandel Barrett had consecutive two-run doubles. The Eagles ended it with three runs in the fifth.
Bushland gets the sweep of Slaton
In a special treat to begin the playoffs, Bushland was able to play the first of a three-game Class 3A bidisrrict series against Slaton at Hodgetown.
Mother nature played a big role as rain postponed the second game as the series finishes in Littlefield on Saturday.
The Falcons had no trouble taking two games in the series for the sweep over Slaton to stay undefeated, winning 7-2 and 8-1.
Pitching was the hightlight of the Falcons.
Tate Nebhut and Coleman Junell took the bump for Bushland (24-0) and would each throw complete games for the Falcons. Nebhut kicked things off in Game 1 with a dominant outing, striking out 11 allowing five hits and only one earned run. Junell followed up with 10 Ks of his own, allowing only three hits and no earned runs with one walk.
The Falcons offense did its part as well scoring 15 runs over the two games. The Falcons were on the bases constantly picking up only nine hits in the series but drawing 14 walks.
Dimmitt scores 41 runs in series win
Despite dropping the first game of the series Thursday, Dimmitt was able to pick up the wins in Game 2 and 3 to clinch a bi-district victory over Childress.
The bats were rolling for the Bobcats (22-7), scoring 41 runs over the three game series and 16 runs in each of their two wins by 16-3 and 16-6 counts. Julius Carpio had a lot to do with that, going 5-for-10 over the three games with two doubles, two home runs, and 11 RBI. The senior had a start to the playoff that will be hard to forget. Brother Kobe Carpio was just had good blasting home runs in each of the three games in the series.
H.S. Baseball bi-district scores
Levelland takes series from Pampa
Game 1: Pampa 5 Levelland 3
Game 2: Levelland 12 Pampa 6
Game 3: Levelland 4 Pampa 1
Estacado sweeps Hereford, 2-0
Game 1: Estacado 14 Hereford 1
Game 2: Estacado 12 Hereford 9
Snyder sweeps Dumas, 2-0
Game 1: Snyder 7 Dumas 5
Game 2: Snyder 11 Dumas 1
Abernathy sweeps River Road, 2-0
Game 1: Abernathy 12 River Road 0
Game 2: Abernathy 10 River Road 5
Shallowater sweeps Dalhart, 2-0
Game 1: Shallowater 12 Dalhart 1
Game 2: Shallowater 18 Dalhart 0
Wellington sweeps Sanford Fritch, 2-0
Game 1: Wellington 11 Sanford Fritch 1
Game 2: Wellington 14 Sanford Fritch 3
Memphis 8, Gruver 5
Clarendon sweeps Sunray, 2-0
Game 1: Clarendon 8 Sunray 6
Game 2: Clarendon 18 Sunray 7
West Texas High sweeps Shamrock, 2-0
Game 1: WT High 11, Shamrock 1
Game 2: WT High 28, Shamrock 2
Kress 23, Booker 3
Nazareth 23, Follett 1