Randall’s Noah Baker drives a ball through the infield during the Raiders District 3-5A game at Tascosa on Tuesday. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
The Randall Raiders got the upper hand late Tuesday afternoon in their race for District 3-5A playoff positioning with metro rival Tascosa.
Having already clinched playoff spots, the two teams met for the first time this week at Tascosa sharing second place in the district. For at least three days, Randall will have that spot alone in the standings, as the Raiders scored at least one run in each of the first six innings to cruise to a 9-4 victory.
In five of those innings, Randall (15-13-1, 8-4 in district) got the leadoff runner on base, setting the table for offensive production. After two wins over Plainview which tied them with Tascosa (13-12, 7-5) for second, the Raiders look as if they’re playing their best baseball when it counts the most.
“Whenever the pitcher goes out there with the lead he can get away with a few more mistakes, so it gives him a little bit more confidence and allows him to attack the strike zone a little bit more,” Randall coach Cory Hamilton said. “It all goes back to momentum. When you get things rolling it’s fun to be a part of it.”
The Raiders got a run each in the first two innings after getting the first two batters on both times, and it’s a credit to Tascosa starter Koben Yarbrough that he kept the damage to a minimum and the Rebels trailed only 2-0 after the first two innings. Meanwhile, Randall starter Payton Bush retired the first six Tascosa batters in order.
Randall extended the lead to 4-0 in the third when Hunter Phillips tripled home Bush and scored on Mason Ladd’s second sacrifice fly of the game. Tascosa got on the board with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.
Both Yarbrough and Bush were gone by the next inning. In the bottom of the fourth, trailing 5-1, the Rebels had their biggest threat of the game.
With two outs, Bush walked Javen Patrick on four pitches to bring home a run, and he was pulled for Dylan Cheyne, who was greeted by Logan Nance’s two-run double to cut it to 5-4. But Cheyne escaped the inning by striking out Josh Splawn looking.
“(The Raiders) scored every inning except there in the seventh and that was the key,” Tascosa coach Jason Patrick said. “They put us in a couple of tough defensive positions. We had the bases loaded there and got a call at the plate.”
Cheyne kept the Rebels down the rest of the way, going the final 3 1/3 innings. He allowed two baserunners in each of the last two innings but nobody from Tascosa could get safely past second.
It marked another successful outing for the Raiders in pitching by committee, as Cheyne was relieved by Phillips in last week’s 7-1 win over Plainview, with Phillips throwing 3 2/3 innings for the win.
“I thought both guys today were able to get hitters out in the strike zone without having to leave the strike zone,” Hamilton said. “It really helps our defense. The other thing is they worked fast. When that happens the defense stays behind you, stays locked in and stays focused.”
The Raiders got insurance with two runs each in the fifth and sixth, on two-run singles by Preston Lowe and Taylor McDaniel respectively.
“It was all about how the coaches prepared us,” said McDaniel, one of three Raiders with two hits. “It’s always expected but it just fell our way today. It was just luck of the draw for us.”
The teams will meet again Friday at Randall.
Randall 9, Tascosa 4
Randall 112 122 0 – 9 10 2
Tascosa 001 300 0 – 4 8 1
Payton Bush, Dylan Cheyne (4) and Mason Ladd. Koben Yarbrough, Logan Malleck (4) and Davis Yaws, Yarbrough (4). W – Cheyne. L – Yarbrough. 2B – Randall: Kole Dudding. Tascosa: Logan Nance, Ryne Wingate. 3B – Randall: Hayden Smith, Hunter Phillips. Records: Randall 15-13-1, 8-4; Tascosa 13-12, 7-5.
Sandies rout PD
Amarillo High took the early lead and never allowed Palo Duro to get into the game, as the Sandies rolled to an 11-0 five-inning, 10-run mercy rule victory at Sandie Field and stayed comfortably atop the district.
Jake Maynard, who has signed with TCU but missed most of the season due to a knee injury, got Amarillo High (20-6, 11-1) going in returning to the leadoff spot. Maynard led off the bottom of the first with a single, went to second on a groundout, stole third and scored on a passed ball for the only run the Sandies would need.
Max Milligan capped the inning with a two-run single for a 3-0 lead. Tristan Curless capped the bottom of the second with a two-run home run for a 7-0 lead.
Amarillo High scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to ensure the run rule. Curless led a 12-hit attack with two hits and drove in four runs.
Chris Esparza had the lone hit for Palo Duro (5-20-1, 1-11), who will host the Sandies on Friday. If Amarillo High wins, it will clinch the district title.
Amarillo High 11, Palo Duro 0
Palo Duro 000 00 – 012
Amarillo High 340 4x – 11 12 0
Rocha, Esparza (1), Castellanos (4) and Shaw. Sandler Needham, Jacob Ferro (3), Tristan Curless (5) and Braize Mitchell. W- Needham. L – Rocha. 2B – AHS: Jake Maynard, Bryson Slaughter. 3B – AHS: Davien Berry. HR – AHS: Curless. Records: Palo Duro 5-20-1, 1-11. Amarillo High 20-6, 11-1.
Caprock eliminated from playoff hunt by Plainview
The district’s playoff participants were set in Plainview, as the host team took the early lead on Caprock and didn’t let up in a 10-4 win.
Plainview officially clinched a playoff spot while Caprock (3-21, 2-10) was eliminated.
In the bottom of the second, Plainview (14-13-1, 7-5) went up 3-0 on a two-run single by Devin Rogers. The Bulldogs extended the lead to 8-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
An RBI single by Lance Meissenburg and a pair of groundouts helped the Longhorns cut the deficit to 9-4 in the top of the sixth but that was as good as it got for Caprock. Xaiden Escamilla had three hits and drove in two runs for the Longhorns.
Plainview 10, Caprock 4
Caprock 000 103 0 – 4 9 1
Plainview 031 411 x – 10 16 2
Lance Meissenburg, Jasiel Acosta (4), Roger King (4) and Aldo Ostos. Isaac Garza, Caleb Lusk (7) and Sebastian Alcala. W – Garza. L – Meissenburg. 2B – Plainview: Austin Hauk. 3B – Caprock: King. Plainview: Charles Gipson, Lusk, Tyler Rodriguez, Devin Rogers. Records: Caprock 3-21, 2-10. Plainview 14-13-1, 7-5.
Black blanks Borger in Canyon win
Ben Black was one out away from coming away from the 6-0 win over Borger with a complete game shutout in Canyon.
Black was stellar, carving up the Borger bats for 14 strikeouts and allowing only three base runners on two walks and a single hit across his 6 ⅔ innings of work. The sophomore southpaw has given the Eagles some stability in the back end of their rotation late in the season.
As good as Black was on the mound, he also had to be the kick-starter for the Eagle offense, which started the night slow at the plate. Black’s single in the bottom of the third started a rally that would see the Eagles end the third with a 3-0 lead after a Trent Hefner double. The Eagles would be stalled again until the 6th where they found three more runs after a leadoff triple by Brody Cook started the inning.
Canyon (22-3, 8-0) looks to clinch the #1 seed in the district Friday against Dumas.
Canyon 6, Borger 0
Borger 000 000 0 — 0 1 3
Canyon 003 030 x — 6 6 1
Black, (7) Beaty and Hefner. Wallace and Parker. W— Black. L— Wallace. 2B— Canyon: Livermore. 3B— Canyon: Cook. Records: Borger 2-21, 0-8. Canyon 22-3, 8-0.
Hereford shuts out Harvesters
Hereford designated hitter Josiah Pena was a difference maker at the plate as Hereford shut out the Harvesters 5-0 in Pampa.
Pena started his day with a strikeout, but would be the driving force for the Herd offense for the remainder of the afternoon. He got the ball rolling in the top of the third when he sent a ball over the left field fence to give the Herd a 2-0 lead.
He added on to an already impressive day by putting himself into scoring position in the top of the fifth with a double and would score two at bats later on a Jacob Enriquez single. Sabian Landis joined in on Herd light show sending a shot of his own over the left field wall to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Herd offense played well, but it was also a special outing on the mound for Carlos Duran. The starter got the complete game shutout, allowing only three hits and two walks, striking out seven Harvesters in the win.
Hereford (8-12, 4-4) is now tied with Pampa (12-9, 4-4) for third place in the district race. Both teams look to the last three games of the season to clinch one of the two remaining playoff spots in the district.
Hereford 5, Pampa 0
Hereford 002 021 0 — 5 10 0
Pampa 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
Duran and Nevarez. Miranda, (6) Nichols, (7) Reed and Steward. W— Duran. L— Miranda. 2B— Hereford:Pena. Pampa: Groomer. HR— Hereford: Landis, Pena. Records: Hereford 8-12, 4-4. Pampa 12-9, 4-4.
Dumas secures playoff spot
Dumas came alive late offensively in an 11-5 win at Perryton.
Perryton took the early lead in the first on an Abraham Hernandez triple and scored him on the next play with a single by Izzy Loma. Perryton would only have the lead for three innings as Dumas would respond with one in the second and four more runs in the bottom of the third. Towns got the inning rolling for the Demons with a one out double before an error and three singles would give Dumas their first lead of the game at 5-3 after three.
Perryton wouldn’t go away however. The Rangers rallied together three runs in the top of the fifth when another Loma single would score two and a fielder’s choice would bring the Dumas lead down to 6-5 in the top of the fifth.
Dumas had enough of the Ranger antics and put up five runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks in part to three more hits in the inning and a throwing error by shortstop Pablo Perez to first base. The Demons held a 11-5 lead after the 6th and couldn’t put the runs together to get back in the game.
Dumas (13-10, 6-2) now holds a playoff spot in District 4-4A and has a chance at the No. 1-seed Friday night in Canyon.
Dumas 11, Perryton 5
Dumas 014 105 x — 11 13 3
Perryton 200 030 0— 5 5 3
Perez, (4) Hernandez and Eylar. Boelter (5) Bustamante and Cota. W— Boelter. L— Perez. 2B— Dumas:Rushing, Town. 3B— Perryton: Hernandez. Records: Dumas 13-10, 6-2. Perryton 9-12, 2-5.
Bushland clinches playoff spot in shutout
It was a battle of first and second in District 1-3A Monday evening that saw Bushland dismantle Dimmitt in an 11-0 victory.
The Falcons were coming off a close game scare by River Road last week but ensured it would not happen again by turning up the heat against Dimmitt. However, the Bobcats were determined to keep it close only trailing 3-0 after four innings. A pair of singles in the second by Ryan Samford and Lincoln Wise gave Bushland a 2-0.
Kobe Carpio was doing his best on the mound to keep the Bobcats in it, only giving up three early runs before the fifth inning. Then the Bushland bats came alive, knocking out Carpio in the fifth inning, scoring four runs. They would go on to score two runs in each of the final two innings. Josh Bass’s three RBI led the Falcons.
On the mound, it was once again Coleman Junell putting on a pitching showcase, allowing four hits and a walk across six innings and striking out nine Bobcats. He combined with the one inning of work from Ditto Nebhut in allowing the Bobcat offense only six baserunners.
The win keeps the Falcons (19-0, 7-0) perfect on the year, and secures a playoff spot.
Bushland 11, Dimmitt 0
Bushland 021 042 2 — 11 15 0
Dimmitt 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Junell, (7) Nebhut, and McDonald. K. Carpio, (5) Melendez, and Aguero. W— Junell. L— Carpio. 2B— Bushland: Goen, Junell, McDonald 2. 3B— Bushland: Troxell. Records: Bushland 19-0, 7-0. Dimmitt 17-5, 5-2.
Dalhart, Friona combine for 38 hits in run-riddled game
The bats were hot in Friona on Tuesday night as Dalhart took out the Chieftains 22-5 in an offensive marathon.
For both teams, 13 had multiple hit games. In all of the offensive craziness, one bat rose above the rest, as Dalahrt’s Michael Trujillo went 5-for-6 in the game. Trujillo six RBI’s and had most of those in the seventh inning where he would find the plate twice with a two-run double and a run-scoring single.
Friona was riding the momentum of the first district win of the season last week. The Chieftans only trailed 12-5 heading into the final inning, but the Dalhart bats got hot and got the separation needed to keep Friona at bay. The Chieftain bats remained hot however, highlighted by a three hit day by their backstop Hunter Grimsely.
Dalhart 22, Friona 5
Dalhart 440 022 10 — 22 22 1
Friona 010 004 0 — 5 16 4
Chaparro, (5) Trujillo, (7) Anzuldua and Griggs. Chavira, (4) Bautista, (7) unknown and Grimsely.
W— Chaparro. L— Chavira. 2B— Dalhart Cervantes, Trujillo 2. Friona: Grimsley. Records: Dalhart 9-11, 3-4. Friona 2-16, 1-6.
River Road runs over Tulia
The Wildcats pulled no punches in their 23-3 win over Tulia on the road.
The River Road bats were loud as the Wildcats mashed 20 hits over five innings. Two Wildcats, Lance Welps and Luis Delagdo ended the night with four hits. Both Welps and Delgado would also both finish with three RBI’s and four runs a piece.
Clell Caldwell got the nod on the mound Tuesday for the Wildcats. He was dented up a bit, but he got the job done, going the complete five innings allowing three runs on three hits.
Equban Basaldua gets credit for two of those hits as he finished his day 2-for-3 for the Hornets (9-12, 1-6), driving in one run.
River Road 9-12, 4-3 still has work to do this season but has at least secured a playoff spot in District 1-3A.
River Road 23, Tulia 3
River Road 1058 00x x — 23 20 4
Tulia 011 10x x — 3 3 4
Caldwell and Clark Subealdea, (3) Culwell and Powell. W— Caldwell. L— Subealdea. 2B— RR: Delgado, Quintanilla. 3B— RR: Delgado, Welps.
Records: River Road 9-12, 4-3. Tulia 9-12, 1-6.
Class 4A-3A compiled by Tommy King.