"I thought I had that one," said Ryan Allen with a wide grin as he high-fived Waxahachie teammates. The Indian first baseman had just banged double off of the Cotton Patch sign in right-center field to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.
Mansfield Legacy led the Tribe at the time, 1-0. The Broncos did not lead much longer.
Two perfectly-placed bunts and a Peyton Graham smash to the power alley in left-center field walked the Indians off winners Friday evening at Paul Richards Park, 2-1.
“It’s sweet," Waxahachie head baseball coach Tracy Wood said. "It was a 1-0 game so we just had to keep grinding and we did that. There was no bigger at-bat than Ryan’s. And then [Aaron] Tesei, he got that sweet little bunt right there…you know we got two huge bunts at a crucial part of this game. I love it.”
After the Allen (2-3, 2B) double, Tesei laid down a textbook sacrifice-turned-base-hit bunt down the third base line to put runners on the corners with no one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Brandon Snowden then executed a perfect suicide-squeeze to plate courtesy runner Braden Roux and knot the ballgame at one. Snowden was called out for stepping out of the baseline after he avoided the tag running to first base.
After the game, Wood said the initial plan was to have Sage Hampton pinch-hit for Snowden, who was hitting in the nine-hole of the Indian order. Those plans changed after Tesei reached on his bunt-hit that put the tying run 90 feet away with no outs.
“Snowden, if he is not the best bunter we have, he is certainly one of the best bunters we have," Wood explained. "We put him back out there, and he did a great job of executing.”
It was then — on a 2-0 count — that Graham (2-2, 2B, RBI, 2 HBP) laced a double, deep to left-center field to easily score Tesei without a throw for the walk-off win.
Parker Renfro (2-0, 1.80 ERA) picked up his first win on the mound since Feb. 22 against Amarillo. He entered the ballgame Friday in relief of starter Trevor Mott, who lasted three innings, struck out two, walked four and surrendered one earned run on three hits.
Renfro struck out one, walked two and gave up four hits. He also worked around jams with a Bronco on third base in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
“You just have to win, and we got the win. When we played them over there (Tuesday), they got four runs on three hits,” explained Wood just before asking how many hits the Broncos had Friday. The answer was seven.
“Ten hits given up in two games? And they are a solid ball club," he added. "That is pretty good. It wasn’t pretty, and you go back through and ask, ‘how’d they only have one run out of all of that?’ Well, what happened is they left some dudes on like we did. We battled. We scraped. We fought. Mott didn’t have a good day, but he is going to get another chance at it. He’ll be ready to go.”
Ryan Hill took the loss for the Broncos. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two earned runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings of work.
Joey Trevino and Jovanny Mijares also collected hits for the Indians.
The lone Legacy run came in the top of the fourth inning.
David Vargas led the frame off with a single to centerfield, moved to second base via a walk and third on a Conner Brinkley single. He then scored when Renfro induced a 6-4-3 double play for the first two outs of the fourth inning.
Waxahachie improved to 11-10-1 on the season and 6-2 in District 10-5A. The Indians are now tied atop the district standings with the (12-4-1, 6-2) Legacy Broncos, as (8-7, 5-2) Mansfield Lake Ridge and (12-7, 4-3) Midlothian were still underway as of press time.
The Indians return to action for a two-game series next week against (2-12, 0-7) Mansfield Timberview. Game one is Tuesday in Mansfield and game two at home Friday.
Both games are slated for a 7 p.m. first pitch.