By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
Tuesday night will be one that the Waxahachie Indians can do a few things with before their next trip onto the baseball diamond.
The Tribe could sulk; after all, they did squander a golden opportunity in District 11-6A and a three-run seventh-inning lead with the 8-5 home loss against Mansfield. They could also blame a few more-than-questionable calls behind the dish, especially with a full count on at least two Tiger batters in that perilous final frame.
Or, the Waxahachie ball club could — and should — use the next few days to take a little responsibility. After all, the late-inning implosion marks the second time in as many games for the Indians.
Free passes and errors fueled both crooked innings for Mansfield and Duncanville, as the Panthers scored eight runs in the top of the sixth inning to eventually run-rule Waxahachie, 13-3 on Friday.
Starting pitcher Jared Thomas (2-1, 0.79 ERA) was stellar for six innings Tuesday against Mansfield. He was not not sharp in the seventh, either.
Thomas retired the first batter of the inning on a flyout along the left-field line. A booted groundball followed by a hit batter then put the tying run at the plate.
Thomas got a fielder’s choice to shortstop to put Mansfield runners on second and third with two outs and the Indians still leading, 5-2.
He was then squeezed, especially on the outside around the kneecap, and allowed a pair of walks on 12 pitches.
The junior eventually exited after hitting the 110-pitch limit — and a Mansfield hitter in the calf, which tied the ball game at 5-all. Thomas had reached a full count on three consecutive batters before exiting.
The Panthers went on to score three runs on zero hits, two walks and another error to steal an 8-5 road district win.
Waxahachie ultimately committed five errors on the evening, which led to the Tribe allowing just one earned run after outhitting the Tigers 9-to-4.
Jaxson Crow and Jacob Cruz each collected a pair of hits for the Indians in the loss.
Crow, the Indians’ everyday catcher, drove in a pair of runs with a second-inning single and sixth-inning sacrifice fly. He and Thomas also scored in the bottom of the first inning on an Anthony Mata double to left field.
The Indians return to action at 7 p.m. Friday on the road against Waco High.
Waxahachie will then host Red Oak at 1 p.m. Saturday in a non-district game at Paul Richards Park, which will also serve as Alumni Day and featured a free youth baseball camp for first through seventh-grade baseball players.
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