Mineral Wells Index
— By CLINT FOSTER
In area baseball and softball action Friday, the Santo Wildacts, Ladycats and Gordon Longhorns all fell at the hands of district opponents.
The Wildcats' fight to stay in the top half of the District 10-1A standings hit a bit of a speed bump last week with a 13-7 road loss to the Eula Pirates (1-10, 1-5).
The Pirates jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Wildcats fought back to tie the score at 4-apiece with a 4-run fourth.
Eula answered with six runs in the bottom of the fourth frame to essentially put the game out of reach, as the ‘Cats could only muster three runs in the seventh after two shutout innings.
Reliever Jordan Edwards was the losing pitcher on the day, throwing the third and fourth frames. During that time, he allowed four runs – only two of which were earned – one hit and four walks to go along with two strikeouts.
Kyle Moore started the game, allowing four hits, eight runs, six earned, and five walks through two innings of work. He only struck out one batter.
Sonny Chalker closed out the final two frames of the game with one hit, one run, two walks and four strikeouts.
On offense, the ‘Cats had a fairly solid day, registering eight hits from six batters.
Moore and Dylan Price led the way, both finishing 2-for-4 at the top of the order. Moore scored a run and struck out once, while Price had an RBI double and scored two runs of his own.
Dylan Swinney was also instrumental in the offensive effort, as he came through with a three-RBI triple to start the scoring in the top of the fourth. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk, a run and two strikeouts.
Also earning a hit were Garrett Nemeth, Edwards and Grant Read.
The loss dropped the Wildcats to 6-7 on the year. With a 4-3 district mark, the 'Cats are tied with the Lipan Indians for third place.
The tie won't last long, however, as Lipan visits Santo tonight for a game that will significantly help the winner control their playoff destiny.
Elsewhere in District 10-1A, the Gordon Longhorns fell at home, 16-2, to the first-place Baird Bears (9-4, 6-2).
Baird jumped out to an early lead, thanks in part to a five-run second inning, and continued to score at least one run in every consecutive frame, until the game was called after the fifth.
Gordon got on the board in the bottom of the third when Humberto Estrada drove home runners on second and third base with a single to cut the Bears' lead to 7-2. But two more shutout innings spelled doom for the Longhorns, who registered six hits for the game to the Bears' 14.
Pitcher Seth Wheeler took credit for the loss in a five-strikeout performance. He allowed seven runs, five earned, and walked four through three innings of work.
Also pitching in relief roles were Chase Barfield, Matthew Stockstill and Seth Allen, who each pitched two-thirds of an inning and fanned one batter.
Barfield allowed five runs, four of which were earned, and three walks, while Stockstill also allowed three walks to go along with four runs, all earned.
Allen was the only Longhorn pitcher to allow no runs or walks in the game for a tidy stat line.
The 'Horns will continue district play today with a home game against the cross-county Graford Jackrabbits. Both teams are searching for their first district win, according to txhighschoolbaseball.com.
The Santo Ladycats (2-7) had a sour roadtrip to DeLeon, where they lost to the other Lady Cats, 21-1, in district play.
DeLeon wasted no time in putting the game out of reach with a 10-run first inning and an 11-run second before the game was called halfway through the third frame.
Ashleigh Kroll took the loss for Santo to fall to 1-4 on the season. She allowed 13 hits and five walks with no strikeouts.
Offensively, Jawnee Hess was Santo's only player to register a hit, while Haley DeShazo and Caitlin Pechacek both reached base on walks and Macie Fuller was hit by a pitch.
Pechacek scored Santo's lone run.
The Ladycats will take a short break before returning to softball action against Gorman in a road contest, Friday.