Spartans claim first district title
Claiming the first district title in the five-year history of Centennial’s baseball program was an exciting task Wednesday night.
After watching defending District 8-5A champion Cleburne tie the game in the seventh, the Spartans rallied with two-out in the seventh to win, 4-3, on a walk-off triple by Thomas Santos.
Micah Bennett started the game-winning rally in with a single to right field, Santos followed with a run-scoring triple to right the hit the wall and took a strange bounce.
The victory gave the Spartans (20-6, 12-1), who are currently listed in the others receiving votes in the most recent Class 5A Texas High School Baseball Coaches Poll, the outright district title.
Jacob Meador picked up the win in relief of Payton Strambler. The freshman, who blew a save opportunity, allowed a run in one inning of work. Strambler surrendered two runs (one earned) on two hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked six.
Cleburne took a 1-0 lead in the first inning without the help of a hit. The Yellow Jackets turned a pair of walks and a passed ball into a run thanks to a one-out RBI sacrifice fly. The Jackets added another run in the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
With two-out in the fourth, Noah Menchaca reached on a infield hit and moved to second when Devin Paz walked. Blake Birdwell doubled home Menchaca. Then Paz and Birdwell scored as Strambler reached base on an error.
In the seventh, Meador walked the first hitter he faced. The freshman then got a pair of outs before Cleburne’s Nick Duran hit a game-tying double. Medaor struck out Spencer Suitt to keep the game tied.