CORSICANA — Waxahachie isn't the only show in Ellis County, folks — especially the way Head Coach Jay Johnson and Red Oak have been rolling through opponents this season.
The Hawks won their fourth straight game Friday at Navarro Junior College, crushing Tyler Lee High School 10-3 behind the power of brilliant batting and near flawless pitching by Chase Jennings and Colton Ragland.
Red Oak (11-1-2) claimed victories against Joshua, Forney, North Forney before beating the Raiders to close the weekend. The last time Red Oak marked an "L" in the standings column was on Feb. 24 against Argyle High School.
Their biggest win, however, came against Forney's Jackrabbits, Texas High School Baseball's No. 8 team. They won that game courtesy of a Bryant Bailey RBI single, three innings of lights out pitching by Ronnie Iracheta and five strikeouts by Erik Gipson.
Bailey and Red Oak's pitching staff were key factors against Tyler Lee, too.
Bailey, who finished 4-for-4 at the plate and drove in two RBI, was one of three batters — Alec Loera (2-for-3) and Wren Hampton (2-for-3) were the others — who had multiple hits and gave Tyler Lee fits. Bailey tripled in the first, doubled in the second, singled in the fourth, and singled in the sixth.
Hampton nailed a double through a gap in the Raider defense, Holden Tate, who drove in two runs with his only at-bat, notched a crucial triple and Lance Milke added a hit.
The Hawks scored seven of their 10 runs before the bottom of the fourth inning began and didn't allow a run during the same stretch. They allowed only three after on five total Raider hits.
Perhaps more importantly, they nearly went errorless.
Red Oak has been better than efficient defensively averaging two or fewer errors per game in the last month. Their highest total in that span — three errors — came during the 5-5 tie with Fort Worth Western Hills. They had a single error during the 4-0 loss to Argyle.
The efficient machine of Hawk baseball dismantled Tyler Lee with a dazzling array of weaponry from crisply turned double plays to seamless strikeouts to relentless small ball tactics. Jennings and Ragland, who could become the district's best lockdown closer, allowed five hits, committed one error and walked no batters with 85 pitches.
To say Jennings and Ragland simply outdueled their Raider counterparts may be a slight understatement. The duo's strike percentage was 71.8 percent compared to Tyler Lee's two pitchers which dipped in the 60s.
Their combination, Randall and Perez, gave up two walks, committed five errors and allowed 10 runs on nine hits — including two triples, two doubles and an Austin Dennie stolen base.
Parker, the Raiders' best batter, went 2-for-3 at the plate and batted in two of the three runs.
Red Oak was scheduled to play Corsicana High School, the tournament host at 4:30 p.m. after press time. The Hawks are set to begin district play against Mansfield Timberview High School at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Buddy Groom Field.
Marcus S. Marion can be reached for story idea submissions or concerns at (469) 517-1456. Follow him on Twitter at @MarcusMarionWNI.