Fifth-ranked Highlanders sweep Vernon - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Fifth-ranked Highlanders sweep Vernon

The fifth-ranked McLennan Highlanders swept the Vernon Chaparrals today at Bosque River Ballpark. 

The Highlanders run-ruled the Chaparrals 13-3 in five innings of game one with Collin Sharp getting the win on the mound

Vernon began the scoring with one run in the top of the first as Francisco Rodriguez reached first safely on an error, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Luis Rivas, stole third and scored on a double by Hayden Jaco.

McLennan exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first. Joe Breaux led off with a solo home run. Tucker Johnson drew a walk, Dimas Ojeda singled and Cory Voss walked, loading the bases. Brendan Venter also walked, bringing Johnson in to score. Noah McGowan followed with a grand slam.

The Chaparrals added a run in the second. Blake Clark singled, Kenny Corona was hit by the pitch and Rivas singled to load the bases. Jaco followed with a single to score Clark.

Vernon's final run came in the third as Luis Valenzuela singled, moved to second on a ground out by T.K. Koontz and scored on a single by Clark. 

The Highlanders scored two runs in the fourth. Breaux walked, and Johnson and Ojeda both singled to load the bases. Voss drew a walk, bringing Breaux in to score. Johnson then scored on a sacrifice fly by Venter.

McLennan sealed the run-rule with five runs in the fifth. Creighton Eldridge drew a lead-off walk, stole second and moved to third on a ground out by Mario Vela. Breaux was hit by the pitch and stole second. Johnson singled to score Eldridge. Ojeda followed with a fielder's choice, scoring Breaux and putting Johnson out at second. Voss was hit by the pitch. Venter followed with the three-run walk-off home run.

The Highlanders defeated the Chaparrals 10-3 in the night cap with Justin Garcia getting the win on the mound. 

Vernon scored two runs in the top of the first. Rodriguez led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out by Rivas and scored on a sacrifice by Jaco. Clark then drew a walk, stole second and score on a single by Rogelio Sanchez.

McLennan got on the board with a run in the bottom of the second as Venter singled, moved to second on a single by McGowan, advanced to third on a fielder's choice by Griffin Williams and scored on a ground out by Eldridge. 

The Chaparrals added a run in the third as Clark singled, stole second and scored on a single by Sanchez.

The Highlanders added a run in the bottom of the fourth. Venter singled, McGowan was hit by the pitch and Williams singled to load the bases. Venter then scored on a ground out by Eldridge. 

McLennan took the lead with three runs in the fifth. Voss singled and scored on Venter's home run. McGowan then singled and scored on a triple by Williams.

The Highlanders rounded out the scoring with five runs in the seventh. Voss singled and Venter drew a walk. McGowan was safe at first and moved to second on a Vernon error that brought Voss in to score and advanced Venter to third. Eldridge followed with a single to score Venter and McGowan. Eldridge advanced to second on an overthrow and stole third. Breaux followed with the two-run homer.

"Today was another good day at the ballpark," head coach Mitch Thompson said. "One of the things I like about this club is that it seems to be a different guy at the plate everyday that comes through for us. In the first game, McGowan had the big grand slam in the first inning and Venter and Breaux hit two home runs each. It's just a different guy every game."

"We had some big things happen and are trying to keep pressure on the opponent and steal some bags. One of the things we didn't do as well as I would have liked is we didn't play the small ball game as well. We missed an opportunity to sac bunt; we missed the opportunity to move a runner from second to third with nobody out; and missed a couple of opportunities to score a guy from third base with less than two outs. So that is something we have got to get better at. But, overall it was a really nice day offensively."

"On the mound, Paul Kirkpatrick struggled and didn't have his best stuff of the year but competed hard for us for four innings. Then, Sharp was very good in his inning to finish the game and get the win in game one. Garcia pitched well, kept them off balance and threw stuff for strikes and didn't beat himself. We played some really good defense behind him. And, it was good to see Mark Doerries and Palmer Wenzel come in to finish it off."

"Overall it was a really good day. Anytime you can win 13-3 and 10-3 and expand your overall record to 39-10 you gotta be pleased. We will work on trying to get better. We've got a doubleheader on Saturday at Vernon, hopefully we can come out and play well again there."

McLennan 13, Vernon 3
Vernon 111 00 – 3 8 0
McLennan 600 25 – 13 9 3
Conner Fletcher, Koby Huett (5) and Luis Rivas. Paul Kirkpatrick, Collin Sharp (5) and Cory Voss. WP: Sharp; LP: Fletcher. Leading hitters – Vernon: Luis Rivas (2-2), Hayden Jaco (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI) and Blake Clark (2-2, RBI); McLennan: Joe Breaux (2-2, 3B, HR, RBI), Tucker Johnson (2-3, RBI), Dimas Ojeda (2-4, RBI), Cory Voss (0-1, RBI), Brendan Venter (2-2, 2B, HR, 5 RBI) and Noah McGowan (1-2, HR, 4 RBI). Record: McLennan 38-10 (18-7).

McLennan 10, Vernon 3
Vernon 201 000 000 – 3 7 1
McLennan 010 130 50x – 10 13 00
R. J. Gaines, Austin Eggleston (6), Hunter Coffman (8) and Luis Rivas. Justin Garcia, Mark Doerries (7), Palmer Wenzel (9) and Nic Motley. WP: Garcia; LP: Gaines. Leading hitters – Vernon: Francisco Rodriguez (1-4, 2B) and Rogelio Sanchez (2-4, RBI); McLennan: Joe Breaux (1-3, HR, 2 RBI), Cory Voss (2-4), Brendan Venter (3-4, HR, 2 RBI), Noah McGowan (2-3), Griffin Williams (2-5, 3B, RBI) and Creighton Eldridge (1-3, 4 RBI). Record: McLennan 39-10 (19-7).

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