Wylie outduels WHS in area-round sweep
Successful season weighed with tragedy comes to end for Tribe
DUNCANVILLE — For the second playoff week in a row, the Waxahachie Indians’ starting duo of senior righthander Casey Kelly and junior lefthander Jared Thomas were outstanding on the mound.
But the Indians met their match in the area round of the Class 6A Region II playoffs as the Wylie Pirates ended the Indians’ season on Thursday night with a 2-0 win at Duncanville High School, finishing the series sweep.
The Indians ended the year with a final mark of 24-10. The team played the entire season in honor of senior Austin Elbert, who lost his life as a result of a traffic accident on Sept. 22. Elbert would have been one of a dozen seniors on the Indians’ varsity roster.
Thomas was sharp enough to win in Thursday’s Game 2, pitching all seven innings and striking out 10 while walking one. But the WHS offense managed just three singles in support as the Pirates’ Reese Bassinger had a three-hit shutout of his own.
Thomas, Kelly and Jacob Cruz had the three hits for WHS. Cruz reached base three times as he singled, walked and was hit by a pitch. Cruz was stranded at third base in the first and third innings and at second base in the sixth.
The Pirates scored the game’s first run in the top of the third inning on a double, a single and a groundout, and made it 2-0 in the top of the fifth on a dropped third strike, followed by two consecutive errors.
In Wednesday night’s Game 1 in Royse City, Kelly and Wylie’s Luke Wiseman hooked up in a dandy pitchers’ duel. But a third-inning lapse proved to be costly as the Pirates won, 2-1, to take the series lead.
Kelly threw an efficient 75 pitches in six innings and allowed four singles, striking out four and walking two.
Both walks took place in the bottom of the third inning and shouldn’t have hurt Kelly, but a two-out error at shortstop off the bat of Wiseman resulted in a run, prolonging the inning. A second unearned run scored on an infield single for a 2-0 Wylie lead.
The Tribe had chances to score early, stranding runners at second and third in the first inning and a runner at third in the third inning. Senior Xavien Thompson, who had been the runner left on third each time, finally touched home in the top of the fifth after scoring from second on Thomas’ line single to center to put WHS on the board.
But that was it for the Indians, who went down in order in the sixth and seventh innings.
Thompson finished 2-for-3 with a walk and Thomas was 2-for-2 with a walk for WHS. Senior Anthony Mata and freshman Joel Jurkash each added a hit.