KENNEDALE — The Indians jumped on the board first, but Cleburne used a lead-off triple, double and pair of passed balls to hang a four spot on Waxahachie starting pitcher Levi David in the bottom of the third inning Thursday afternoon at Kennedale High School. The Yellowjackets made the most of a third passed ball to plate another run in the bottom of the fourth inning for a 5-1 lead over the Indians in the first game of the three-game 5A Region II quarterfinal series.
The Indians, though, had no intentions of going down quietly.
David helped his own cause in the top of the third inning when he laced a one-out double to the left-centerfield gap. Three more hits, including a Ryan Allen double off the top of the right-centerfield fence, pulled the Tribe within one, 5-4.
Morgan McCloud came on in relief of David in the bottom of the sixth inning. The right-handed senior retired the first batter of the inning and then got the fifth to pop out to Allen at first base with a pair of Yellowjackets on base.
Any Indian hopes for a come-from-behind win were dashed in the top of the seventh inning when Alec Sanchez flew out to straight-away centerfield with runners on second and third.
The Yellowjackets held on for the 5-4 series-opening win.
Should the series be unable to continue due to inclement weather, Cleburne will advance by default. Game two is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at Kennedale High School.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith