This past week, the San Saba Armadillos went one and one in their baseball games against Comanche and Early, respectively. Tuesday, April 5, the Comanche Indians came to our place for a game. Ryan Pannell was the pitcher for the day and started the game off right by striking out the first batter. Then he walked two batters, but got a fly ball out and another strike out to end the top half of the first inning.
The Dillos wasted no time by scoring four runs in the bottom half of the first and again in the bottom half of the second, jumping out to an 8-0 lead. Offensive players of the game were: Ryan Pannell who went 3 for 4 with two triples, scored four times, and had three RBI’s, Cody Herd who went 2 for 2 with two doubles, scored three times, had two walks and two RBI’s, Tucker Cromer who went 2 for 3, scored twice, and had two RBI’s, and JT Mathis who went 3 for 4, scored once, and had the one game winning RBI that created a ten run lead in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game.
Our defense played very well, only committed two errors, and made the routine plays when we needed to. Ryan Pannell continued to keep control of the game until the later innings. He faced 20 batters in four complete innings and had only allowed two runs to that point. In the top of the fifth, the Indians scored their first three batters, making the score Comanche-5 San Saba-9, and had another runner on first with only one out. At this point, Clayton Perry came in to prevent any further damage. He walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases, then struck out the next two swinging to end the inning. In all, Pannell went four and a third innings, struck out 8, allowed 5 hits, 5 runs total, 3 of which were earned, and was awaiting credit for the win.
It was the bottom of the fifth where our bats came alive again. With one out, Perry walked, Zack Davis walked, Luke Cox doubled them in, Pannell reached by error, Cody Herd doubled in Cox and Pannell, and Tucker Cromer singled in Herd to give us a nine run lead still with one out. A pitch hit Tanner Weyerts, Miguel Flores drew a walk to load the bases and draw the Indian infield in close. JT Mathis lifted an inside pitch to the edge of the outfield behind third base for a walk-off single and game ending RBI. That made the final score: Comanche-5, San Saba-15.
Then we went to Early on Friday, April 8. Our bats seemed ready as Zack Davis, with a 0-2 count, sent the third pitch of the game out of the park, ricocheting off the backside of the visitor’s press box at the football stadium behind right field. Luke Cox singled and then three consecutive outs were recorded to end our half of the first. Cody Herd took the mound and began to work. He allowed a lead-off single, a ground ball out fielded by Zack Davis to Ryan Pannell at first for an out, and a wind played pop up single that started for left field and landed at the edge of the dirt and center field. That batter was immediately forced out by shortstop Clayton Perry on the very next play for two outs, and made a sensational diving catch on a line drive to end the first inning with no damage being done.
In the second inning, Miguel Flores had a single and we recorded three outs in a row to change sides. Herd then struck out the first batter he faced in the second. The next batter hit a slow roller between third, short, and the mound, which counted as an infield single. That player then stole second, the next batter popped to Ryan Pannell in foul territory, the runner advanced to third on a wild pitch, and the next batter took a walk. With runners at the corners, the double steal play allowed the Longhorn runner at third to score before the next strikeout was recorded. This tied the game at one.
In the top of the third, the Dillos went 1,2,3. In the bottom half, the Longhorns hit to short for an out, doubled to right center, sacrifice fly to right field advanced the runner to third, and a fly ball caught by Tucker Cromer in left made three outs and no runs. The fourth inning was also scoreless for both teams. In the fifth, Clayton Perry got on base by an error at shortstop. Zack Davis took a walk, Luke Cox singled in Perry, Pannell hit a ground ball to short that forced out Cox for the second out, and a strike out ended the inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Herd pitched to the top of their order and sat them down in order with a ground ball out to second, a ground ball out to short, and a line drive out to first. The score is now 2-1, our favor.
The sixth inning was scoreless for both sides. It was the top of the seventh when Perry grounded to first, Davis walked, and Luke Cox singled to right center and was thrown out at second base on bad advice from the first base coach. The next batter hit back to the pitcher and threw to first to end the inning. We went to the bottom of the seventh to protect our one run lead. The first batter got a single off of Herd, who promptly erased him by using a pick off move to first base and tagging the runner out in a run down. The very next two batters also got on with singles. Then a pop fly on the infield with less than two out made the batter out automatically (infield fly rule). With two outs and the best hitter for Early up, he singled in the tying run and was out as he tried to advance to second on the throw. The run counts and that means extra innings.
For San Saba in the eighth, two runners got on but nothing doing after that. For Early, the first batter singled and we decided to make a pitching change. Pannell came in to relieve Herd who had gone seven plus innings, allowed only two runs on 8 hits and 3 strikeouts. Pannell got two quick ground ball outs, allowed a walk, and got a pop up out to extend the game another inning. Our ninth consisted of ground out, single, force out at second, and a strike out. Their half of the ninth was similar with a walk, two ground outs, an intentional walk to their best hitter, which worked because the next batter was a fly out to center. On to the tenth, Herd got hit by a pitch on the elbow. Tucker Cromer hit to short who flipped to second to force out Herd. Cromer moved to second on a wild pitch and Miguel Flores hit a hard double to right center field to score Cromer and give us a 3-2 lead. The next two batters struck out, so here come the Longhorns. The first batter walked, then was forced out at second on a comebacker, a hard single to right field allowed the runner to round second and try for third. The throw to third was off line and the runner ended up scoring, tying the game 3-3. Herd focused to control the situation by getting a fly ball to left and a strike out to end the inning.
On to the eleventh, the three Dillo batters that went to the plate all struck out. With the momentum, Early started the bottom of the eleventh with a walk, a ground ball to the pitcher was an out but moved the runner into scoring position, again we intentionally walked their best hitter to not let him beat us with a hit. The batter behind him proved to be worth his salt and singled to the outfield, another walk loaded the bases with two outs, and the sixth batter in their order came through with a single to right field to score the game winning run. The final score was: San Saba-3, Early-4 in 11 innings.
The win and loss on the week makes the overall record 11-6-1 and 7-2 in district play. We are still solely in second place; two games behind Bangs and one game in front of third place Hico. Our next games will be Friday, April 15 at Bangs at 7:00, then again on Tuesday, April 19 at Hamilton at 4:30 due to lights. We thank everyone involved with the baseball program and truly do appreciate your support.