By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
A balk made it interesting, but Waxahachie’s Anthony Mata came right back on the next pitch for a strikeout to clinch game one of their 6A Region II bi-district championship against Harker Heights.
Mata came on in relief of starting pitcher Casey Kelly and ultimately stranded two Harker Heights baserunners in the 4-2 road win. The save was the second in as many outings for Mata.
Kelly (8-1, 1.07 ERA) tossed six brilliant innings on the bump. The senior struck out 10, walked two and scattered six hits. He did, however, allow a pair of earned runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Kelly eventually exited the ball game with a 4-2 lead after fellow senior Xavien Thompson tagged on a run in the top of the seventh.
Thompson ended his evening 3-for-4 at the plate with two triples, one RBI and one run scored. His first-inning three-bagger led to the Indians’ opening run. He then plated Lucas Furgeson in the top of the seventh inning for the 4-2 Waxahachie final.
Thompson was named the Waxahachie Glass Corporation Player of the Game for his efforts.
The Indians tacked on runs in the third and sixth inning to complete the victory. Jaxson Crow singled home Jared Thomas in the sixth for the eventual game-winning run.
The Indians outslugged the (18-13-1) Harker Heights Knights 9-8 on the evening and did not commit an error. The victory was the seventh in eight games for the Tribe, which includes five consecutive.
Waxahachie (24-8) will now look to close out the 6A Region II bi-district series with a win Saturday afternoon at Paul Richards Park. The first pitch for game two is slated for 2 p.m. Game three, if necessary, will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith