The Indians split the first two games of the Robert Dulin Memorial Tournament, but they were able to rebound with a pair of wins Friday.
The first game was a pitcher’s dual against Mansfield Summit, but the Indians won 2-1 thanks to a two-out, walk-off bloop single by pinch-hitter Nick Garvin.
In the night game, only one pitcher shined and that was Waxahachie’s Marshall Herron, who struck out 10 batters in five innings of the 8-1 victory against Dallas W.T. White.
After leaving the bases loaded twice in a 2-1 loss to Birdville Thursday night, the Indians needed a big hit.
One finally came with the Indians trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth when David Martinelli ripped a triple down the first base line to give the Indians their first hit of the game.
Two batters later he scored thanks to a surprising squeeze bunt from one of the team’s best power hitters, Ryan Cawthon. That perfectly executed bit of small ball tied the game at a run a piece, where it stayed until the bottom of the sixth.
In the tournament, the games have an hour and a half time limit and time expired during the top of the sixth. That meant if the Indians couldn’t score in the home half of the frame, the game would have been decided by tiebreakers, which was number of runners to reach third base. Summit had the edge in that category 2-1 so Waxahachie needed a run.
Martinelli came up with another big hit and led off the inning by legging out an infield single to the second baseman. Senior catcher Dillon Yates bunted him over to second.
Summit wanted no part of David Villarreal, who had reached base in five of his first seven plate appearances in the tournament, so they walked him intentionally, which also set up a potential game-ending double play.
After a strike out, Waxahachie coach Tracy Wood went to his bench and called on Garvin to finish the game. The senior outfielder did just that by blooping a single to right and Martinelli touched home to win the game.
“It was a curve ball in the dirt and I had two strikes on me so I didn’t want to strike out,” Garvin said. “It was refreshing to get that hit. Don’t ever count us out because we can come back and win.”
Cawthon started the game for the Indians, but struggled to find the strike zone at times as he walked five batters in four innings of work.
“We didn’t throw strikes,” Wood said. “But we still had a chance to win the game and we did.”
But he was able to work out of a bases loaded jam in the third inning thanks to two of his six strike outs. That inning also featured a successful execution of the Indians’ famed fake pick off move to second, during which the second base man and shortstop dive to make it appear that a pick off throw sailed into the outfield. The Summit runner made a move back to second, but then took off to third, where Cawthon easily threw him out.
In the night game, it was the Herron show as he struck out five of the first seven hitters he faced. White didn’t get a hit off of him until it got a triple to lead off the fifth and final inning.
“I was just feeling hot today. I had a good warm up in the bullpen and I just hit my spots and kept the ball down,” Herron said. “My curveball and my change up worked well and I was able to keep them off balance.”
The bats and White’s poor defense gave Marshall all the support he would need in the first and third innings.
The Indians didn’t manage a hit in the first inning, but parlayed three walks and two hit batters into runs by Trent Armstrong and Martinelli.
Herron also got the offense going in the third inning with a double to the wall in left field that scored Cawthon, who reached on the first of three White errors in the inning.
Herron scored on a base hit by Don King III. Consecutive throws from the Longhorn shortstop that flew several feet over the first baseman’s allowed King and Garvin to score and get Armstrong in scoring position.
John Castellanos singled to score Armstrong then stole second, where he scored on a Yates single.
Waxahachie played Midlothian in the final game of the tournament Saturday. Check Tuesday’s Waxahachie Daily Light for the story. The Indians (5-4) start district play at 7 p.m. Monday in Terrell.
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