LUBBOCK – The McLennan Highlanders defeated the New Mexico Thunderbirds 5-3 Saturday night in the second round of the Region V Tournament in Lubbock.
New Mexico began the scoring with one run in the top of the first as Luis Pintor singled, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Travon Benton.
McLennan took the lead with four runs in the bottom of the second. Tucker Johnson was hit by the pitch and scored on a single by James Rudkin. Braxton Wilks and Noah McGowan drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Jon Tauzin followed with a single, scoring Rudkin. Will Fox was hit by the pitch, bringing Wilks in to score. Kirby McGuire then hit into a double play, allowing McGowan to score.
Pintor’s solo home run for the Thunderbirds in the fifth cut the lead to two, 4-2.
The Highlanders added a run in the bottom of the seventh as Tauzin was hit by the pitch, moved to second on the walk of Fox, moved to third on a single by Dimas Ojeda and scored on a fly out by Brandon Grudzielanek.
New Mexico rounded out the scoring with one run in the eighth. Austin Botello singled. Angel Vara and Jeff Deimling both walked, loading the bases. Zac Sanders then singled to score Botello.
The Highlanders will face either Midland or Odessa at 5 p.m. tomorrow in the winner’s bracket.
New Mexico 100 010 010 – 3 9 0
McLennan 040 000 10x – 5 8 1
Mark Simon, Trenton Rousseau (7) and J.P. Rousseau. Reece Calvert, Zach Kornely (8), Cole Ridgely (9) and Jon Tauzin. WP: Calvert; LP: Simon; SV: Ridgely. Leading hitters – New Mexico: Luis Pintor (2-4, HR, RB), Brandon Grieger (1-3, 2B), Travon Benton (1-4, RBI) and Zac Sanders (1-4, RBI); McLennan: Kirby McGuire (1-4, RBI), Dimas Ojeda (2-4), Brandon Grudzielanek (0-4, RBI), James Rudkin (1-4, RBI), Noah McGowan (2-3, 2B) and Jon Tauzin (1-3, RBI). Record: McLennan 34-17 (19-13).