The Waxahachie High School junior varsity baseball team used key hits and crafty base-running from sophomores Brandon Snowden, Braden Roux and Ryan Allen to knock off county rival Red Oak High School on Monday at Richards Park.
The win, which kept the team undefeated, marked the fifth straight time the team topped a district opponent.
Allen, who pitched five strong innings and was responsible for three of the runs that helped WHS rally from three runs down in the sixth inning, said the pace of the game began to slow after he calmed down and let the game come naturally.
“I’ve always started off slow and built momentum once I settle in,” Allen said about battling the strike zone during the game. “Sometimes, I’d go low and away on a first pitch and get a strike called, and other times I’d go low and away and couldn’t ring the batter up. It’s really teaching me to focus on location and letting the ball leave my hands and have faith in my skill and precision.”
Though Allen didn’t finish the game on the mound, he did get the win. Fellow sophomore Trevor Mott, who recorded the save, and his blazing fastball helped the Indians compile eight total strikeouts and earn the win.
For all Allen and Mott’s prowess on the mound, the Indians late-game resurgence would have never been if not for the bats of players like Snowden, Roux and Christian Whitlock.
Roux’s single and subsequent steal of second and home (on a wild pitch) helped the Indians take a two-run lead in the sixth inning, beginning a six-run sixth inning that would seal the Hawks’ fate.
Robert Hughes, the Indians junior varsity head coach, said despite the comeback and the win, his team didn’t totally look like the team he sees on a day-to-day basis.
“We kicked the ball around a lot, which is uncharacteristic of these guys. They usually don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Hughes said. “This team hadn’t been down a lot this whole year, so it was good to see what they can do when they’re forced into an uncomfortable situation. We got down 6-3, but we kept battling. It was a good win for guys who’ve been solid all year.”
Hughes praised his team’s resilience, execution and hustle during the game, but pointed out defensive mistakes are liabilities.
Allen said defensive mistakes like those committed against Red Oak not only can’t become a habit, they will block them from their season’s goal.
“Our future’s bright and we have a lot of good, young players that are learning how to play and feed off each other’s energy early. We could have a year where we go really deep into the playoffs,” he said. “But I think going undefeated in district this season is a sworn goal for us. We’ve made it the majority of the way and seen most of the teams, know what we’re getting into and hope to finish strong.”