Ennis jumps on Texas High in Game 1

Maypearl extends playoff shutout streak; No. 4 Lady Glads blank Bosqueville

Daily Light report
Ennis baseball players line up for the national anthem during a recent game.

ENNIS — The Ennis Lions cut loose for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on Thursday night and took an 11-8 victory over Texarkana Texas High in Game 1 of a best-of-three area-round series in the Class 5A Region II at EHS Field.

The Lions trailed 7-2 after 4 ½ innings after a THS run scored on a wild pitch and things looked tough — but in the blink of an eye, the Lions turned the tables, sending 13 batters to the dish against three different pitchers and piling up six hits. Luke Regas doubled home the tying run and Eric Stanley put the Lions on top with a single.

Ashton Ehly was 3-for-3 with a walk, a double, a stolen base, an RBI and two runs scored for the Lions (18-12-2), and Jeremiah Sanchez also had three hits, an RBI and a run scored. Stanley was 2-for-3 with a walk, and RBI and three runs scored, and Ryan Diaz drove in a pair of runs.

Fito Mendez got the win with five innings of long relief. Mendez yielded eight hits but only two runs, with three strikeouts and three walks.  Starter Colton Daniell pitched two-plus innings and was the victim of shaky defense as all but two runs charged to him were unearned.

Game 2 was scheduled for Friday night at Texas High’s Tiger Field, with Game 3 to be played at noon on Saturday in Royse City if needed. The winner of this series will play either District 14-5A member Corsicana or Nacogdoches in the 5A Region II quarterfinals.

Heavy rain earlier in the week had originally caused the Lions to schedule Midlothian's turf Ronnie Clanton Field for Game 1, but heroic work by the Ennis grounds crew got the home field playable in time.

In other playoff series involving Ellis County teams, Life Waxahachie has shifted the start of its Class 4A Region II matchup against 4A No. 6-ranked opponent Celina (26-7) to the Bobcats’ home field. A doubleheader was scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday in Celina, with the rubber game if necessary to be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at Life’s Mustang Field.

The Mustangs, whose baseball program started in 2010, last week won their first-ever playoff baseball game, 11-0, over Dallas Pinkston.

Class 3A Region II

Game 1: Maypearl 1, Rains 0 (9)

NEVADA — For the third straight playoff outing, the Maypearl Panthers posted a goose egg as it took extra innings to beat Emory Rains, 1-0, in a Thursday night masterpiece in Game 1 of their area series at Nevada Community.

The Panthers’ Michael Todd went all nine and held the Wildcats scoreless on five hits. Todd also scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth on a Brooks White hit. White finished 2-for-4 with a stolen base to lead Pearl.

Todd walked to lead off the ninth and advanced to second as Tomas Castanon’s sacrifice bunt instead went for an infield hit. A double play erased Castanon but Todd advanced to third on the play, and then came in on White’s line single to center.

The Panthers (18-6-1) somehow survived a serious bid for a walk-off Rains win in the bottom of the eighth. Rains’ Eric Bacon led off the inning with a triple, but third baseman Castanon saved the day for Maypearl with a throw home to catcher Payne Clay to cut down Bacon at the plate. Todd set down the next two batters to extend the game to the ninth.

Todd also stranded potential go-ahead Wildcat runs at third base in both the fifth and sixth innings as regulation ended at double donuts.

Game 2 was scheduled back at Nevada Community on Friday night, with Game 3 at 1 p.m. Saturday if necessary. The winner of the series will face either Gunter, which is receiving votes in the THSBCA state poll, or Whitesboro in the Region II quarters.

Class 2A Region II

Game 1: Valley Mills 5, Italy 1

WHITNEY — The District 15-2A champion Gladiators drew first blood, but Valley Mills’ Cooper Ewing pitched a one-hitter and fanned 13 as the Eagles took Game 1 of their area-round series, 5-1, at Whitney High School on Thursday night.

Italy (16-9) broke on top in the first, 1-0, as senior leadoff man Kevin Rasberry was hit by a pitch, advanced on a wild pitch and a passed ball and scored on Ethan Escamilla’s sac fly to center. Rasberry also doubled to lead off the third inning for the Gladiators’ only hit but was out at third base trying to stretch a triple.

Valley Mills tied it at 1 in the top of the fourth on a sac fly, then took the lead for good in the fifth on two walks, a hit-by-pitch and an RBI single with the bases loaded each time.

Ty Cash absorbed the loss after taking over for starter Creighton Hyles in the fourth. Reese Janek closed out the game with three innings of one-hit relief.

Game 2 was scheduled for Friday evening at Whitney, with Game 3 set for noon Saturday if needed.

Softball

Region quarterfinals

Class 2A Region II

Game 1: Italy 5, Bosqueville 0

WHITNEY — Emily Janek fired a two-hit shutout on Thursday as the Class 2A No. 4-ranked Lady Gladiators shut down a strong No. 8 Bosqueville lineup, 5-0, to take a 1-0 lead in their region quarterfinal series.

Janek also batted 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, and Keri Scott was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Macey Cooper and Danaisia McCowan pitched in with a double each.

Cooper’s first-inning double scored Scott to give the Lady Gladiators (33-1) the only run they really needed. In the third, Cadence Hopgood singled home a run and Janek added two more RBI on a double; and Scott doubled home McCowan with the fifth and final run in the fourth.

Game 2 was slated for Friday night at Whitney, with a possible Game 3 to be played at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the same location. The winner will face Petrolia, a 10-0 five-inning winner over Muenster on Thursday.