The only thing that could slow down the Waxahachie Indians Tuesday night in the District 15-4A opener at Richards Park was Mother Nature and even the weather had a hard time slowing down the Waxahachie machine.
Waxahachie overcame three 30 minute lightning delays to run-rule Terrell 11-1 in six innings behind dominant pitching by senior left hander Kyle McLeroy and an offensive attack that was ready to go to work.
McLeroy struck out nine in five innings of working while allowing just one hit, a fourth inning home run, as Waxahachie out hit Terrell 12-1.
“One we got a W and are 1-0 in district. Two, I thought Kyle threw really well. I don’t care who he is throwing against, I don’t look at the opponent I just look at him throwing strikes and pitching ahead. His cutter was really good tonight. He was throwing it inside which is something I like,” Waxahachie coach Tracy Wood said. “We swung the bat a little bit. All positives.”
Waxahachie pushed the first run of the game across in the second inning as David Villarreal tripled to center before scoring on a passed ball.
Chase Rudolph led off the bottom of the third with a single before hits by Michael Bosch and Seth Sims loaded the bases for McLeroy. A sacrifice fly to left drove in one run before David Martinelli grounded out to second driving in Bosch.
A bloop to center off the bat of Villarreal gave the Indians a 4-0 lead before senior Cameron Phillips homered to right center to put the Indians up 6-0.
After retiring the first nine batters he faced in order McLeroy got behind in the count 3-1 to Terrell’s lead off hitter to start the fourth. Turning on a pitch right down the heart of the plate the Terrell batter put the Tigers on the board with a home run to deep right center.
McLeroy settled back in and retired the next three batters before the Waxahachie offense went back to work after the first of three lightning delays.
Bosch singled to center with one away in the fourth before stealing second and advancing to third on a passed ball. Sims walked and advanced to second on a passed ball before McLeroy singled to right driving in Bosch.
Sims was thrown out at home trying to score on the McLeroy single and on the play at the plate McLeroy advanced to third.
A triple down the first base line off the bat of Martinelli scored McLeroy before Martinelli scored on a passed ball giving Waxahachie a 9-1 lead.
McLeroy took the mound in the fifth and struck out two showing no ill-effects from the 30-minute delay due to lightning that was seen but not detected on the school’s radar system.
Ryan Cawthon relieved McLeroy in the sixth and retired two Tigers before the umpires delayed the game for an hour due to lightning.
Cawthon returned to the mound after the delay and struck out a batter to give the offense a chance to put the game away.
Facing a new pitcher the Indian offense continued to produce as Bosch led off with a walk before Sims doubled to right. With two in scoring position Terrell walked McLeroy intentionally setting up Martinelli with a chance to end the game.
Martinelli sent a bouncing ball to first that went between the first baseman’s legs allowing Bosch and Sims to score and end the game that lasted well over three hours.
“Up to this point we have had a chance in most games except for the W.T. White game where we pitched from behind the entire game. We have had a chance in every ballgame because we have thrown strikes and played defense,” Wood said. “We just did not get any big hits in some of those games but we had a chance to win the ballgames. We are capable of swinging like we did tonight. It was average pitching and we did what we are supposed to do against it.”
Villarreal, Bosch, Sims and Cody Brown all had two hits in the game while Martinelli drove in four runs, McLeroy two and Phillips two.
McLeroy faced one batter over the minimum in his time on the mound and had his best performance of the season.
“I thought I pitched pretty well. I am still getting used to throwing these kind of innings, but I am impressed with tonight,” McLeroy said. “After I started throwing a little bit the delay did not bother me at all.”
Starting 1-0 in district play is nice and Wood believes if the Indians continue to get solid pitching they will be a team to watch out for.
“Striking out nine and not walking a batter was huge,” Wood said. “That’s the key. That is not only the key for Kyle but for our club, without a doubt. When you get that from him we are going to win ball games. We don’t have to have 12 hits to win ball games if he goes out and does that he is going to be tough.”
Waxahachie (6-5, 1-0) will play in the Western Hills Cougar Classic this weekend before returning to district play Tuesday. The Indians play Western Hills at 10 a.m. Thursday in Fort Worth before playing Birdville at 12:15. On Friday the Indians will play at 3 p.m. at COuntry Day against Brock and at 5:15 against Country Day before finishing the tournament Saturday at 12:15 p.m. against Lakeview Centennial at Western Hills.
Pitching will be taxed all weekend as after playing five games in the tournament the Indians will turn around and play Midlothian at 3 p.m. on Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before playing at Red Oak Tuesday in the return to district play.