It was an extra long day for the McLennan Highlanders at the Region V Tournament Saturday in Lubbock. Midland and Howard went to extra innings early in the day, forcing the start time for the Highlanders' matchup with Weatherford to be pushed back almost two full hours, from 8 p.m. to 9:55 p.m.
The Highlanders fell to the Coyotes 4-3 in the late-night contest with Palmer Wenzel taking the loss on the mound. The Highlanders were never truly out of the contest. They continued to fight to the bitter end, close to 1 a.m. Sunday morning.
Weatherford took the early lead on Nichlas Evarts' solo home run in the second.
McLennan tied the game with a solo home run by Josh Breaux in the fourth.
The Coyotes responded with two runs in the top of the fifth to take the 3-1 lead. Payton Rhodes singled and moved to second on a sacrifice by Malik Jones. Jake Michener drew a walk and Andrew Keefer singled and moved to second on an overthrow, bringing Rhodes in to score. Landon Gray was hit by the pitch and Evarts followed with a single to score Keefer.
McLennan continued to battle, tying the game at 3 with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Chris Roller led off with a double and scored on a double by Joe Breaux. Joe then moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Breaux.
Weatherford scored what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the ninth as Keefer doubled and scored on a single by Gray.
The Highlanders move into the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will face New Mexico in an elimination game at 1 p.m. today. The winner will face either Midland or Odessa at 8 p.m. Weatherford will face Grayson in the only winner's bracket game of the day at 5 p.m.