The McLennan Highlanders bounced back from yesterday’s disappointing outing against the Vernon Chaparrals in Waco with a dominating performance on the road at Vernon.
The Highlanders shut out the Chaparrals 12-0 in five innings of game one with Grant Miller getting the win on the mound.
McLennan scored one run in the first as Dylan Neuse reached first safely on an error, stole two bases, and scored on a single by Josh Breaux.
The Highlanders added two runs in the second inning. Nick Thornquist and Chase Sortor both singled. Sortor was thrown out at second and George Callil singled to score Thornquist. Callil then stole second and scored on a single by Neuse.
Seven runs crossed the plate for the Highlanders in the third. Aidan Shepardson led off with a double and Breaux walked. Keaton Milford followed with a single to score Shepardson, and Breaux scored on a sacrifice fly by Griffin Paxton. Thomas Santos followed with a two-run homer. Thornquist then singled and scored on the two-run homer by Sortor.
McLennan rounded out the scoring with two runs in the fourth. Santos hit a solo shot. Sortor then singled, stole second, moved to third on a single by Callil and scored on a single by Neuse.
The dominance continued in the second game as the Highlanders got another run-rule victory, this time of the 15-2 variety. Nick Urbantke picked up the win on the mound.
McLennan took control in the first inning, scoring nine quick runs. Neuse doubled and Shepardson drew a walk. Breaux followed with a single, scoring Neuse. Milford hit a fielder’s choice, putting Breaux out at second, and Santos singled to score Shepardson. Paxton followed with a ground-rule double, to score Milford. Sortor was safe at first and advanced around to third on a Vernon error, scoring Santos and Paxton. Jackson Nichols walked but was out at second on a fielder’s choice by Callil that brought Sortor in to score. Neuse tripled to score Callil, and Shepardson followed with the two-run homer.
Vernon got on the board with a run in the bottom of the first as Rodrigo Leon singled, moved to second on a single by Tyler Latham, advanced to third on the walk of David Pewenofkit and scored as Demetrius Young was safe at first on an error.
The Highlanders added five runs in the second. Santos doubled and scored on a double by Paxton. Sortor was safe at first and advanced to second on an error, and Nichols walked to load the bases. Callil followed with a single to score Paxton and Sortor. Breaux then singled to score Nichols and Callil.
Milford’s solo home run in the third would be the Highlanders’ final run of the afternoon.
Vernon closed out the scoring with an R.J. Roberts solo home run in the fifth.
“It was an outstanding day. I’m really proud of the way our guys responded after losing game one of the game series to come back and run-rule Vernon in games two, three and four was really a big deal,” head coach Mitch Thompson said. “We responded well and it was a disappointing loss. You’ve got to give their guy credit but I’m really, really pleased with how we responded, and how we pitched and competed the remainder of the series. We beat them 27-2 today in the doubleheader and you add 13-0 to that and it’s a 40-2 last three games.”
“Offensively, we had several guys with big hits: Neuse had five hits; Shepardson had a home run and a double; Breaux had four hits and three walks; Milford with a home run; Thomas Santos had another big day with a double and two home runs. ; Thornquist was good; Sortor had three hits in game one; and Callil had three hits on the day. So we had lots of guys up and down the lineup who put together good at-bats.”
“Miller set the tone for us early by going out and just dominating the game. I don’t believe there was a ball hit hard the entire ballgame and he struck out eight guys. I’m really, really proud of the way Grant’s responded since we’ve inserted him into the rotation.”
“We are going to take Easter weekend off and go spend some time with our families, and then think about the risen Christ and all that. Then we are going to show back up Monday and get ready to compete Wednesday and Saturday against North Central.”