Three outs an inning are hard to get against a good hitting team but give a team five outs and the chances of limiting the damage are slim.
Waxahachie built a 5-2 leading heading into the final inning of Thursday’s Robert Dulin Memorial Tournament finale against Mansfield Summitt but the Jaguars struck back with five runs in the top of the sixth to take the game 7-5.
Kyle McLeroy struck out four Jaguars in the sixth but two reached on dropped third strikes extending the inning for the heart of the Summitt lineup to do its damage.
“They had the meat of their order coming right there. I think the bottom line is, they got big hits and we didn’t. We did not play bad baseball but right there at the end they got big hits when they had to have them and we did not. That’s the bottom line of the game right there,” Waxahachie head coach Tracy Wood said. “We are going to have to find a way to win big games like that if we are going to do what we want to do and go where we want to go.”
McLeroy struck out the first two batters he faced in the inning but the first reached on a passed ball before the senior pitcher walked the third batter he faced. A hit by Summitt’s leadoff man loaded the bases before a sac-fly to center cut Waxahachie’s lead to two, 5-3.
McLeroy looked to escape damage once again with another strike out but the ball went wild and allowed Summitt’s three-hole hitter to reach loading the bases for the No. 4 spot.
As clean-up hitters are supposed to do Summitt launched a three-run double over Waxahachie center fielder Michael Bosch’s head to give the Jaguars their first lead of the game.
Trailing by two, Waxahachie had the heart of its order due up in the bottom of the sixth but two ground balls and a line shot to the right side of the infield ended the game.
“We had the meat of our order up with a chance to win the game trailing by two and we didn’t do anything with it,” Wood said.
Waxahachie scored two runs in the first inning on two hits as Bosch led off with a double to left before David Martinelli reached on a walk. With two on and two away David Villarreal doubled down the left field line to give the Indians a quick lead.
McLeroy used the lead to command the game and set the Jaguars down in order in the second and third inning while the Indians tacked on two more in the bottom of the third.
Bosch led off with another double before Martinelli reached on a throwing error that allowed Bosch to score. McLeroy singled to right driving in Martinelli before Summitt escaped the inning.
Summitt added two in the fourth before the Indians added one in the bottom half.
Cameron Phillips led off with a hit before Andrew Smith reach on a bunt. Smith stole second and on the throw Phillips stole home to give the Indians a 5-2 lead.
Bosch finished the game 3-for-3 as the Indians totaled seven hits in the game.
McLeroy pitched all six innings and allowed six hits while striking out eight, walking two and hitting one.
Catcher Chase Rudolph picked off a runner at second in the second inning while McLeroy picked off a runner at first in the third. The Indians classic overthrow play picked off a runner at second to end the third as McLeroy faked an overthrow to center before the Indians caught the Summitt runner in a rundown.