By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Cade Davis strolled to the plate as a pinch hitter in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday evening in Duncanville. As he stepped into the right-handed batter’s box, the Waxahachie Indians trailed the Panthers, 2-1.
There were two outs and the tying run — in the form of senior Landon Davis — stood 90 feet away. Landon had come on as a pinch-runner for designated hitter Joel Jurkash, who had singled to finish his night 2-for-3 at the plate.
Cade quickly found himself in a less-than-ideal 1-2 count. The fourth pitch of his at-bat should’ve ended the game and would’ve left the Indians with yet another sour stomach following a District 11-6A tilt that they had every opportunity to win.
But that third strike found the dirt and squirted away from the Duncanville catcher. The senior hustled to first base and beat the throw just as the other Davis, who was previously on third base, crossed the plate to knot the game at 2-2.
Duncanville’s Jonathan Alvarado neared the 110-pitch maximum when he retired pinch-hitter Caleb Perry on the following four pitches to end the inning.
Duncanville then threatened to walk the game off in the bottom of the seventh. Waxahachie starting pitcher Casey Kelly (5-1, 1.07 ERA) ultimately stranded that Panther on third base to send the game into extra innings.
After allowing a lead-off walk to Xavien Thompson and a single back through the middle to Jacob Cruz, Alvarado reached that magic pitch-count threshold and was forced to exit the ball game with a pair of Indians aboard.
Alvarado left after striking out seven, walking five and scattering four hits. The biggest hit he allowed was a lead-off home run that Xavien Thompson blasted over the right-field fence. The round-tripper was the team-best fifth of the season for the senior centerfielder.
With a new Duncanville arm on in relief, Landon Davis stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat of the district season. The regular second baseman has typically been DH’d for, giving those at-bats to the hot-hitting Jurkash (.395 BA, 7 RBIs).
Landon delivered an RBI single with two strikes and two outs to give the Indians a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The senior laced the single over the head of the Duncanville third baseman to plate Thompson and put Waxahachie on top, 3-2. It was his first hit in district play and just his fifth of the season.
The Indians then added a fourth run when Cruz trotted home on a bases-loaded walk issued to Kelly.
Kelly went back out to the mound for the bottom of the eighth inning. He struck out two and induced a weak infield pop-up to strand a Panther at second base and secure the 4-2 Waxahachie victory.
Kelly struck out five, walked two and scattered four hits in the uber impressive and rare eight-inning complete-game win.
Kelly has now struck out 30 batters and walked just 10 over his 27.0 IP in district play. He is 4-0 in 11-6A play with a nice 1.11 ERA.
Duncanville previously run-ruled Waxahachie, 13-3, during the first half of district play.
Landon Davis was named the Waxahachie Glass Corp Player of the Game for his efforts.
LAST TIME OUT
The Indians trounced host Cedar Hill on Saturday, 15-0, behind 14 hits and five Longhorn errors.
Jurkash, Jaxson Crow and Jared Thomas all doubled during the win.
Crow led the team with four RBIs. Kelly drove in three runs, while Mata and Jurkash each plated two.
Thomas (4-1, 0.51 ERA) needed just 61 pitches to get through four scoreless innings. He struck out eight, walked two and allowed just two hits.
Thomas has allowed just one earned run over four 11-6A starts. He has also collected 24 strikeouts over 18.2 IP against district foes.
Hunter Poynor retired the side in the bottom of the fifth inning on nine pitches to complete the victory against Cedar Hill.
Waxahachie (19-7, 6-3 in 11-6A) returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday on the road against Mansfield High.
The Tigers are currently 13-9-1 on the season and sit atop the 11-6A standings with a 7-2 record.
Waxahachie and Waco Midway are tied for third, with Mansfield Lake Ridge, Waco and Duncanville all tied at 5-4.
KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM will continue to carry Waxahachie baseball action on-air and online.
For a complete broadcast schedule, click here.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith