Spartans slip by Elks, barely
Just when it seemed Burleson was on the verge of ending its nine-game losing skid to Centennial Tuesday night pinch-hitter Jacob Meador came to the plate with a plan in mind.
With Burleson holding a 2-1 lead and a runner at second base, Meador said he was looking for a pitch to hit and hopefully drive in the tying run.
The junior did more than that, ripping an offering from Burleson starter Kayden Cassidy over the left-center field wall for a two-out, two-run home run that gave the Spartans a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning.
Burleson would tie the game on a solo home in the sixth inning by Hayden Alexander but the Spartans would score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch with the bases loaded for a 4-3 District 9-5A win at Centennial.
The win kept the Spartans (11-13, 9-2) in second place with three games left. Centennial plays Friday at Granbury and hosts Joshua Tuesday night.
Cassidy was the hard-luck loser despite striking out 14 in 5.1 innings of work. He allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and walked two.
“Kayden pitched a heck of a game,” Burleson coach Daniel Bruce said. “That’s the best game I think he has pitched all year. He was shutting them down. We make a mistake on a pitch and (Meador) makes us pay for it. We had a great, great chance to win.”
It was the Elks (12-14, 4-7) fourth one-run loss in district play. Burleson is tied for fifth place with Crowley, two games behind fourth-place Granbury. The Elks host Cleburne Friday and play Tuesday at Arlington Seguin.
Meador’s home run was the first in his high school career and came in his first appearance since he shutout Joshua, March 29. Early that game, he received a deep bruise after colliding with his first baseman. He threw six shutout innings but the bruise kept him out of action for 18 days.
Meador was cleared to play Monday.
“I took some swings at rehab to make sure my swing was ok,” Meador said. “I had a guy on second base and knew a ball in the outfield would score a run. It just happened to work out that I hit a ball over and got two runs out of it.”
The Spartans had cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth when Trevor Gowin doubled home Brock Beadunah, who had dropped a one-out single to left.
Centennial coach Brad Hart wasn’t pleased with his hitters approach at the plate early in the game but they showed enough discipline late to squeak out a win.
“(Cassidy) was dealing and shutting us down,” Hart said. “He had our number for a while. He was doing a good job of making pitches to get us out.”
Dallas Baptist signee Alexander tied the game in the sixth inning with a home run off reliever Miguel Santos.
“He’s been hitting well and having good at-bats and he had one right there when we needed it,” Bruce said of Alexander. “That home run gave us some life back.”
The home run was the lone flaw in a Santos first trip to the mound this season. The junior allowed one hit while striking out seven and walking none on three innings.
“He was super-efficient,” Hart said. “We wanted him to two innings but he wanted to go out for the last one. He’s a leader and a real competitor.”
The Spartans took the lead in the sixth inning parlaying a double, a hit batter and walk into a run on a wild pitch. Cassidy left the game with one out in the sixth and the bases loaded when he reached his pitch limit.
Burleson reliever Cameron Hauch struck out the first two batters he faced but also let loose a two-out wild pitch that scored the go-ahead run.
“Centennial made some plays,” Bruce said. “Our kids have some fight in then so don’t count us out. We are going to give teams a run for their money (in the final three district games).”
Centennial blasts Seguin
Supported by a 13-hit attack, Centennial’s David Pruitt tossed a three-hit shutout Friday night as the Spartans defeated Arlington Seguin, 24-0, in district play.
Pruitt worked five innings for the shutout. He fanned five and walked one.
After getting no-hit by Cleburne in their previous outing the Spartans finished with 13 hits and four extra base hits.
Bryson Fleming, who got the lone hit against Cleburne, belted a two-run home run in a 12-run fifth-inning. Miguel Santos and Gabe Irwin went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Santos doubled and Irwin tripled.
Fleming along with Ethan Diaz, Ben Evans each drove in two-runs.
Elks break losing skid
Starting pitcher Blake Myers helped Burleson snap a four-game losing skid Friday night as the Elks defeated Everman in a district game.
Myers tossed five innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five and walking four. Hauch worked the last two innings giving up one run on two hits. He struck out two and walked five.
The Elks took a 3-0 lead in the first inning to get started quickly. Colton McCallum was hit to open the game and Cassidy followed with a single. With one-out, McCallum scored when Carson Hallack reached on an error. Cassidy scored on another error and Jacob Amador brought home the third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Leading 3-2, Burleson added a pair of runs in the fourth inning on RBI sacrifice fly by Hallack and a run-scoring wild pitch that brought home Cassidy.
The Elks went up 6-2 in the sixth inning on a leadoff solo home run by Cassidy.