The McLennan Highlanders’ season came to an end with an 11-6 loss to the Midland Chaparrals in the Region V Championship on Tuesday.
McLennan began the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Evan Williams singled and Matt Campbell drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Max Hogan. Andrew Rhodes followed with a single to score Williams and Campbell.
Midland exploded for seven runs in the top of the fifth. Cade Davis, Anthony Reyes and Josh Narvaiz all walked, loading the bases. Blaine Prescott followed with a single, scoring Davis and Reyes. Justin Clarkson also singled. Caleb Koedyker then singled to score Narvaiz and Prescott. Chris Shaw followed with a single. Christ Thibideau then doubled to score Clarkson, Koedyker and Shaw.
The Chaparrals extended the lead with two runs in the sixth. Jay Gonzalez reached first safely on an error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Narvaiz. Prescott followed with a triple, scoring Gonzalez. Clarkson then singled to score Prescott.
The Highlanders added three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Miles Manning singled and Sydney Daley doubled. Manning scored on a groundout by Mason George. Daley then came in to score on an error that put Williams on first. Campbell drew a walk and Hogan singled to score Williams.
Midland added one run in the seventh as Davis walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gonzalez and scored on a single by Prescott.
McLennan’s final run came in the bottom of the eighth. Williams led off with a double. Campbell walked and Hogan was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Rhodes was also hit by the pitch, bringing Williams in to score.
Gonzalez’s solo home run for Midland in the top of the ninth rounded out the scoring.
The Highlanders end the season with an overall record of 31-27.
“This is obviously a disappointing end to our season,” head coach Mitch Thompson said. “We had high hopes of winning the region and being able to play for a national championship. Even though today’s outcome is disappointing, this seasons accomplishments are not.'”
“I am extremely grateful to my players for playing with great effort the entire year. These guys gave me everything they had both on the diamond and in the classroom,” Thompson said. “I expect big things from them throughout the rest of their college careers and their lives. They have raised the expectations for the McLennan baseball program. It has been a privilege to be their coach. I am very proud of each and every one of them.”
“We will begin working immediately at continuing to improve our program and will prepare for another postseason run next year,” Thompson said.