WACO, TX — The McLennan Highlanders swept Vernon this afternoon at Bosque River Ballpark to complete the four-game series sweep of the Chaparrals.
Grant Miller picked up the 4-3 win on the mound for the Highlanders in game one.
McLennan jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Brett Squires and Thomas Santos both singled. Jordan Yeatts hit a fielder’s choice, putting Squires out at third. Aidan Shepardson followed with a double to score Santos. Yeatts and Shepardson both came around to score on a wild pitch.
Vernon tied the game with three runs in the top of the third. Jerry Davis singled and Kyle Harris drew a walk. Dylan Tackman hit a fielder’s choice, putting Harris out at second. Nate Collins followed with a three-run homer.
The Highlanders’ winning run came in the bottom of the third as Santos walked, moved to second on an error and scored on a single by Shepardson.
McLennan took game two 6-2 with Mason Hilton getting the win on the mound.
Vernon scored a run in the second as Collins doubled, moved to second on a ground out by Sergio Santa-Cruz and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brooks Betcher.
The Highlanders took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs already recorded, Yeatts singled, stole second and scored on a single by Shepardson. Shepardson then advanced to second on an error, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Vince Ippoliti.
McLennan’s final four runs came in the sixth. Squires led off with a solo home run. Santos was safe at first and moved to second on a Vernon error. Yeatts and Shepardson drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Ippoliti also walked, bringing Santos in to score. Yeatts scored on a sacrifice fly by Kendall Foster. Jalen Battles walked, and Cole Moore singled to score Shepardson.
The Chaparrals rounded out the scoring with a run in the top of the eighth. Demetrius Young and Harris both singled and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Tackman. Young then scored on a sacrifice fly by Collins.
“Today was a good day; we had a beautiful day at the ballpark,” head coach Mitch Thompson said. “We got two well-pitched ballgames and I’m very proud of our starting pitching. Grant Miller was good. He didn’t have his best stuff today but even when he doesn’t have his best stuff he goes really deep and gets us the complete-game win, 4-3. He really just gave up one well-hit ball and the 12 ground-ball outs are outstanding. Mason Hilton was fantastic in game two, going into the seventh inning. I like the way that everybody who took the mound for us today pitched and how they attacked. That was a big part of our wins today.” We played pretty good defense overall, and we played a bunch of guys.”
“It’s always good to get a doubleheader sweep, but to sweep the four-game series from somebody is big,” Thompson said. “That’s what you need to do to be in this thing and win the conference at the end of the year.”
“I really liked the professional attention that our guys gave to the game. How we went about our business today was really good and step up from how we performed on Thursday in Vernon,” Thompson said.
“Overall, it was a really good day and now we will take a day off to catch our breath then get ready to do this again against a North Central team that is off to a pretty good start in conference as well,” Thompson said.
McLennan 4, Vernon 3
Vernon 003 000 0 – 3 4 2
McLennan 031 000 x – 4 5 0
Charles Chavez, Victor Silverio (3) and Luis Tajia. Grant Miller and Cole Moore. WP: Miller; LP: Silverio. Leading hitters – Vernon: Jerry Davis (2-3) and Nate Collins (1-3, HR, 3 RBI); McLennan: Cole Moore (1-3, 2B) and Aidan Shepardson (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI). Record: McLennan 20-7 (6-1).
McLennan 6, Vernon 2
Vernon 010 000 010 – 2 7 3
McLennan 000 204 00x – 6 8 0
Tyler Burke, Morgan McCloud (4), Valenny Jimenez (6), Lex Meinderts (6), Turner Gryseels (7) and Ethan Rodriguez. Mason Hilton, Payton Strambler (7), Rene Ramos (9) and Vince Ippoliti. WP: Hilton; LP: Burke. Leading hitters – Vernon: Nate Collins (2-3, 2B, RBI), Brooks Betcher (0-3, RBI), Ethan Rodriguez (1-4, 2B) and Tyler Rickey (2-4); McLennan: Cole Moore (2-3, RBI), Brett Squires (1-4, HR, RBI), Jordan Yeatts (3-3), Aidan Shepardson (1-3, RBI), Vince Ippoliti (1-3, 2 RBI) and Kendall Foster (0-1, RBI). Record: McLennan 21-7 (7-1).