There haven’t been many pretty moments so far in the 2010 season for the Midlothian baseball team. Thursday’s tournament opener against W.T. White had that feel early. Until it turned into a thing of beauty.
Five hitters over a six-batter span notched RBI singles or doubles to help the Panthers come back from an early 1-0 deficit and rally for an eventual 7-2 win over the Horns.
“It was big. We really, really needed it. I know I finally got my first hit for the season so far this game,” senior first baseman Blake Lunday said. “The middle of the lineup, three, four and five, weren’t doing very well so it’s kind a big gap right there, you definitely need those guys hitting. It was good they woke up and started hitting.”
Woke up might be an understatement.
Kyler Brown started the inning by reaching on error and was sacrifice bunted over to second by leadoff hitter Cody Cain. Daniel Rushing tied the game on a single that sparked an offensive surge at just the right time.
Rushing’s steal of second during Alec Humphreys’ at-bat allowed him to score when Humphreys hit a double, followed by a double from Lunday that plated the third run of the inning. Catcher Justin Shealy made it four straight RBI hits with a single that brought home Lunday’s pinch runner. Shealy’s pinch runner would steal second during Conner Roberts at-bat and came home when Colton Clanton laced a double down the line for the fifth run of the inning.
“From starting from the scrimmages from now I’ve kind of been struggling so it feels good to actually start swinging the pipe and getting base hits and stuff,” Clanton said.
The senior was far from done with success on the day as Roberts reach first with a single in the second at-bat of the fifth inning, setting Clanton up for another big plate appearance. He delivered a triple to right field that allowed Roberts to score while putting himself in scoring position. This time around, teammate J.D. Pruitt brought Clanton home with an RBI double to make it a 7-2 game.
That was more than enough for starter Bailey Harcrow who pitched all five innings before time expired, allowing just two runs on eight scattered hits. He also struck out four.
After a 1-2-1 showing in the Waco Tournament last weekend, coach Ray Hydes was hoping Thursday’s opener might be something positive for the team to build on.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit and I just told the guys we’ve been talking about staying tough,” Hydes said. “We know we can swing the bat a little bit, we just wanted to stay focused. It was a good day for us. We broke out. Maybe it’ll get us jumpstarted.”
Panthers edged by
Summit in nightcap
The hit parade continued against Mansfield Summit but the run support did not follow along as Midlothian (2-3-1) managed just two runs on nine hits while committing two errors to be edged 3-2 by Summit.
Panther starter Brad Younts pitched well allowing just seven hits for the game. Midlothian gets back into tournament play today with a 3 p.m. game against Birdville and then faces Waxahachie at 7 p.m.