The Ball High Tors prevailed in a battle Wednesday with Manvel for the top spot in the District 23-5A standings, walking off with a 4-3 win in the eighth inning.
“I thought we did a good job of hanging in there,” Ball High head coach Russell Ferrell said. “They had some chances to score some more runs early, but we kept them to one or two and won it at the end.”
Left fielder Jayson Rodriguez hustled out a one-out infield single to get the Tors’ extra-inning rally started. After catcher Lalo Gutierrez laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Rodriguez to second base, starting pitcher/second baseman Thaddeus Wilcox came through with the game-winner.
Wilcox smashed a hard-hit grounder down the first base line, and the ball got through the legs of Manvel first baseman Kane Mendieta, allowing Wilcox to reach safely and Rodriguez to come all the way around to score the game-winning run.
Manvel drew first blood in the top of the first inning, taking advantage of Ball High mistakes. Designated player Warren Laster led off by reaching on an error, but things looked promising for the Tors as Wilcox struck out the next two batters. A passed ball and a throwing error by Gutierrez allowed Laster to score, though, giving the Mavericks a 1-0 lead.
Ball High evened the score, 1-1, in the bottom of the first after second baseman David Trevino, center fielder Kyle Wheeler, third baseman Dylan Whitehurst and shortstop Noah Trevino (RBI) drew four consecutive one-out walks.
The Tors grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second on a clutch, two-out RBI single by Noah Trevino that drove home Rodriguez (leadoff walk), but Manvel went out ahead, 3-2, in the top of the third on an RBI single hit by left fielder Myles Simmons and a run-scoring balk by Wilcox after Simmons advanced to third base on a Mendieta single.
Ball High wasted little time in tying the score back up, 3-3, with a run in the bottom of the third. After Whitehurst and Noah Trevino led off the inning with back-to-back walks and then advanced into scoring position on a passed ball, a hard-hit RBI grounder to shortstop by designated hitter Austin Lawrence was all the Tors needed to plate the run.
After that, the two pitching staffs settled into a scoreless duel until Ball High’s game-winner in the bottom of the eighth.
“We didn’t play flawless by any stretch, but we played good enough,” Ferrell said.
Wilcox was solid in the no-decision outing, pitching six innings with four hits, three runs (one earned), three walks and seven strikeouts. Noah Trevino picked up the win in relief, throwing two scoreless innings and surrendering only one hit and one walk with two strikeouts.
“I’m just really happy for Thaddeus and Noah; they did a really good job,” Ferrell said.
Ball High only recorded three base hits in the game, led by Rodriguez’s 2-for-3, one walk, two runs scored performance. Wheeler (two walks, hit by pitch) reached base three times, and Whitehurst (two walks), David Trevino (single, walk) and Noah Trevino (two walks) each reached base twice. The Tors drew a total of nine walks.
The Tors (11-3 in district) will look to hang on to first place when they hit the road to take on Fort Bend Marshall at 7 p.m. Friday.