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Baseball: Highlanders wallop Wharton

Highlanders wallop Wharton.

The McLennan Highlanders walloped the Wharton Pioneers 22-8 on the road this afternoon in a non-conference battle. Brady Childress picked up the win in relief for the Highlanders on the mound.

McLennan began the scoring with three runs in the top of the first. George Callil drew a lead-off walk and stole second but was thrown out at third on a fielder's choice by Chris Roller. Nic Motley and Josh Breaux followed with back-to-back home runs to give the Highlanders an early 3-0 lead.

Wharton got on the board with an Enrique Sanchez solo home run in the bottom of the first. 

The Pioneers took the lead with three runs in the second. Curtis Rhodes was hit by the pitch and Branson Audette singled. Both runners scored on a home run by Charles Robinson.

The Highlanders responded with four runs in the top of the third to take the lead. Joe Breaux doubled and Motley drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Josh Breaux. Brendan Venter followed with a three-run homer. Chase Sortor then doubled and scored on a double by Cole Haring.

Wharton trimmed the McLennan lead to one, 7-6, with three runs in the bottom of the third. Tyler Kimball led off with a home run and Jared Lira doubled. Lira moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Michael Wetch. 

McLennan began to pull away with four runs in the fourth. Roller doubled and Motley walked. Josh Breaux followed with another home run, this time of the three-run variety. Venter also homered. 

Spencer Griffin hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth for the Pioneers.

The Highlanders extended their lead with five runs in the fifth. Mario Vela was hit by the pitch.  Callil and Joe Breaux drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Roller singled to score Vela and Callil. Motley followed with a three-run homer. 

Three more McLennan runners crossed the plate in the sixth. Vela singled and Callil walked. Joe Breaux followed with a single to score Vela. Roller then reached first safely on an error allowing Callil and Joe Breaux to score. 

Wharton's final run came on Robinson's home run in the bottom of the sixth.

The Highlanders tacked on three runs in the top of the seventh to secure the run-rule victory. Haring doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Callil. Joe Breaux reached first safely on an error, moving Callil to third. Ragan Forrest singled to score Callil, and Joe Breaux scored on a single by Nick Thornquist. 

"Today was a great day to hit at Wharton. The wind was blowing out to left field and it's a short porch, 310 feet to the line. Thankfully our hitters really showed up today and swung the bats well. We had six home runs; two home runs a piece for Motley, Josh Breaux and Venter. Our 4, 5 and 6 hole hitters had big days and that's what you've got to have on a day like today," head coach Mitch Thompson said. "I'm really proud of those guys." 

"I'm proud of the way we pitched the last four innings of the game. The first three innings were not good. You've got to be able to pitch to the ballpark and pitch to the situation. Early in the game, Nick Urbantke was not sharp, missed up in the zone and gave up some runs. Thankfully our position players swung the bats good and we did finish up the last four innings on the mound throwing the ball well."

"It was a good day overall. We were able to get a lot of guys some at-bats and get some guys going a little bit. Hopefully that will carry over and we can continue that on Wednesday at Weatherford." 

McLennan 22, Wharton 8
McLennan 304 453 3 – 22 20 0
Wharton 132 101 0 – 8 11 2
Nick Urbantke, Brady Childress (4), Connor Heffron (6), Josh Breaux (7) and Nic Motley, Nick Thornquist (7). Brandon Bolt, Brandon Johnson (3), Daniel Hecker (4), Ian Nash (5), Garrett Park (6), Brendan Owens (7) and Branson Audette. WP: Childress; LP: Bolt. Leading hitters –. McLennan: George Callil (1-3, RBI), Joe Breaux (2-4, 2 2B, RBI), Chris Roller (2-4, 2B, 4 RBI), Nic Motley (2-3, 2 HR, 5 RBI), Josh Breaux (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Brendan Venter (3-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Chase Sortor (2-4, 2B), Cole Haring (3-5, 2 2B, RBI), Nick Thornquist (1-1, RBI) and Ragan Forrest (1-1, RBI); Wharton: Spencer Griffin (2-4, HR, RBI), Enrique Sanchez (2-4, HR, RBI), Tyler Kimball (1-3, HR, RBI), Jared Lira (1-3, 2B), Michael Wetch (1-3, RBI) and Charles Robinson (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI). Record: McLennan 28-7 (9-3).

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