After twisting his ankle in a 6-4 Game 1 victory over the Panthers Thursday night, it was questionable whether Keith Leerskov would be able to play up to par in Game 2 against Waco Midway Friday night at Richards Park in Waxahachie.
Leerskov proved any doubters wrong, as the senior went 3-4 at the plate with a double, home run, and two RBI to propel the Tigers to a 8-0 victory over the Panthers to advance to the Class 4A Region II Semifinals.
However, Leerskov’s biggest contribution of the night came in the field, as the Navarro College signee made a spectacular over the shoulder catch with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning to save two runs.
Fellow senior Caleb Marx pitched a gem on the mound for the Tigers, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings striking out three, while allowing only five hits.
“We threw a guy out there that has probably only thrown 25 innings all year,” head coach Tracy Wood said of Marx. “It was just a gut deal. But we had confidence in him. I thought he pitched fantastic tonight.”
Both schools were held scoreless in the first three innings.
However, Leerskov struck first blood for the Tigers as the centerfielder blasted a solo home run into the trees to give the Tigers the 1-0 lead.
In the top of the 5th, Hayden Grounds started off things when he beat out an infield single, but he wouldn’t be on the bases for long as Texas signee Stayton Thomas smashed an opposite field home run to put the Tigers up by three.
Yet the Tigers weren’t done for the inning after Caleb Marx ripped a base hit down the leftfield line.
Two batters later, Leerskov tacked on another run to the scoreboard when he brought in Marx on a single.
After a scoreless sixth inning, the Tigers exploded for four more runs in the seventh giving Marx even more support.
Mark Mayfield, Marx, and Justis Contreras started off the inning with consecutive singles.
With two outs, Landry Tidwell was hit by a pitch to load the bases which were quickly emptied by Aaron Bland’s three-run double.
Marx got in some trouble with one out in the last inning, but Leerskov came in and closed things out striking out the last two batters.
The Tigers go on to the next round of the playoffs playing the winner of the Mesquite Poteet and McKinney series.
But as Coach Wood said, if the Tigers keep up their hot play, any team will have a tough time against the Tigers no matter how tough they are.
“If we play like we did tonight, we can play with anybody in the state of Texas.”
Corsicana 8, Waco Midway 0
Corsicana 000 130 4 — 8 13 1
Midway 000 000 0 — 0 5 3
WP — Caleb Marx. LP — Taylor Blanchard. 2B — C: Stayton Thomas, Keith Leerskov. HR — C: Thomas, Leerskov.
Records — Corsicana 23-5-1; Midway 18-13.