Central scores nine unanswered runs, beats Sam Houston 9-2
Damian Juneau, Special to the American Press
MOSS BLUFF — The 12th-seeded Central Wildcats used a five-run third inning in taking the 9-2 win over the fourth-seeded Sam Houston Broncos in the first game of a best-of-three series in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
The Broncos led 2-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Dylan Thompson and Dallas Rhodes opened the inning with singles. Alex Norris followed with a two-RBI single that scored both.
The Wildcats answered in the top of the third inning with five runs. The inning started with a Brodie Knapps single. He advanced to third on a fielding error to open the inning. Jeremy Wise followed later in the inning with a two-RBI double to tie the score at 2-2. A double from Taylor Walters scored the go-ahead run for a 3-2 lead. The final two runs of the inning came on a two-RBI single by Jimmie Johnson for the final runs of the third inning.
“Their pitcher did a good job on the mound as we got some momentum early with the two runs,” said Sam Houston head coach Chad Hebert. “We gave it right back the next inning giving up five and we can’t do that and win. I felt like we played OK but not great as they hit the ball well.”
Central looked to extend the lead in the fifth inning when Gabe Patterson got on base with a triple. A deep sacrifice fly by D.J. Primeaux scored him on the next play to extend the lead to 6-2.
The Wildcats tacked on another run in the top of the sixth, when Knapps scored on an inside-the-park home run.
Sam Houston threatened in the sixth with a leadoff walk by Jordan Thompson, who was then picked off for the first out. Dylan Thompson reached base on a single with two outs but was left on base.
Central picked up two more runs in the seventh inning. The first saw Patterson score on an RBI single by Johnson that scored Patterson. The final run, scored by Primeaux, came on a wild pitch.
The last chance for Sam Houston came in the bottom of the seventh when Trevor Jones reached base with two outs, but it was to late for the rally.
Central’s Conner Cassels was the winning pitcher with a complete game. He allowed five hits. Central had 10 hits with Johnson going 3-for-4 and had three RBIs. Patterson finished 2-for-4 and three runs.
Rhodes took the loss. Thompson finished the game by going 2-for-3. Norris also went 2-for-3 and knocked in both Sam Houston runs.
“It’s the way baseball goes sometimes,” Hebert said. “We had some good looking hits to right and left field, but they were playing in right spot defensively,. It’s just one of those days where we were on the bad end.”
Sam Houston’s Jordan Thompson makes a catch at first for an out as Central Baton Rouge’s Chandler Lytle arrives at first base during a Class 5A quarterfinal game Friday in Moss Bluff.