Highlanders get sweep in non-conference action

Highlanders get sweep in non-conference action

The No. 3 McLennan Highlanders improved their overall record to 27-7 with a doubleheader sweep of the Coastal Bend Cougars Saturday afternoon at Bosque River Ballpark.

Jase Embry picked up the 11-1 run-rule victory on the mound for the Highlanders in game one, recording 12 strikeouts in six innings including the first five batters.

McLennan scored one run in the bottom of the first to take an early lead. George Callil led off with a walk and Joe Breaux doubled. Callil then scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Roller.

Coastal Bend tied the game with a run in the top of the third as Austin Johnson walked, moved to second on a single by Marcel Carter and scored on a single by Henry Hausman.

The Highlanders took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third as Callil and Joe Breaux both walked and scored on a double by Roller.

McLennan tacked on three runs in the fourth. Cole Haring walked and moved to second on an error. Callil followed with a single. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Joe Breaux. Roller walked, and Nic Motley singled to score Joe Breaux.

Two more Highlanders scored in the fifth. Chase Sortor drew a lead-off walk but was out at second on a fielder's choice by Haring. Callil followed with a double to score Haring. Joe Breaux then reached first safely on an error allowing Callil to score.

McLennan sealed the win with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Josh Breaux led off with a double and Brendan Venter singled. Sortor followed with a triple to score Josh Breaux and Venter. Sortor then scored on a single by Ragan Forrest.

Jason Blanchard picked up the 11-1 win for the Highlanders on the mound in game two.

Once again, McLennan began the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first as Roller singled and scored on a triple by Motley.

The Cougars' only run came in the top of the fourth as Oscar Resendez Jr. singled moved to second on a ground out by Jacob Rodriguez and scored on a single by Hausman.

The Highlanders plated four runs in the fifth. Griffin Paxton singled and Brock Morrison bunted for a single. Callil singled to score Paxton, and Joe Breaux followed with a three-run bomb to right field. 

Two McLennan runners scored in the sixth as Morrison homered following a Paxton single. 

The Highlanders extended their lead with two runs in the seventh. Joe Breaux singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Nick Thornquist. Thornquist then moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Paxton. 

McLennan rounded out the scoring with Haring's solo home run in the eighth.

"Today's two games were just what the doctor ordered. We got really good starting pitching in both games from Embry and Blanchard. Embry struck out 12 guys in six innings; he was really on top of his game and was outstanding. Then Blanchard followed it up and gave us another six strong innings of pitching to start game two. I'm really proud of those guys," head coach Mitch Thompson said. 

"Our relief pitching was really good in game two with Brady Childress, Kyrell Miller and Logan Freeman. It was good to get Freeman back out there. He hasn't been out there in about three weeks, so it was great to see him have a good inning. He will be a big boost for our ball club as we continue on down the stretch."

"It was just one of those days where everything went right for us. We played really good defense and didn't make an error in either game. That's big! We also swung the bats with some authority: driving some balls, hitting some balls out of the park, had lots of extra-base hits, stealing bases, and playing pretty good heads-up baseball."

"I couldn't be really much more proud of today's effort; it was a great two wins. We just don't get any time to rest now. We will pick it back up on Monday at Wharton for a game. Then we travel to Weatherford Wednesday to continue on with conference play. The next home game is Saturday, April 8, at home against Weatherford, and it will be a big day for us. We had a great crowd out here today, so it was a lot of fun with Family Fun Day, and we hope those folks will continue to come out and help us out down the stretch."

McLennan 11, Coastal Bend 1
Coastal Bend 001 000 – 1 4 2
McLennan 102 323 – 11 10 0
Ben Kennedy, Josh Valdez (3), Colton Getschmann (5), Haden Borden (6) and Cody Lee. Jase Embry and Josh Breaux. WP: Embry; LP: Kennedy. Leading hitters – Coastal Bend: Henry Hausman (1-3, RBI) and Cody Lee (1-2, 2B); McLennan: George Callil (2-2, 2B, RBI), Joe Breaux (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI), Chris Roller (1-1, 2B, 3 RBI), Nic Motley (1-3, RBI), Josh Breaux (1-2, 2B), Chase Sortor (1-2, 3B, 2 RBI) and Ragan Forrest (1-1, RBI). Record: McLennan 26-7 (9-3).

McLennan 10, Coastal Bend 1
Coastal Bend 000 100 000 – 1 6 0
McLennan 100 042 21x – 10 13 0
August Kowalik, Ean Rodriguez (5), Brad Stookey (7), Julian Fernandez (8) and Garret Boes. Jason Blanchard, Logan Freeman (7), Brady Childress (8), Kyrell Miller, (9) and Nic Motley, Jackson Nichols (8). WP: Blanchard; LP: Kowalik. Leading hitters – Coastal Bend: Oscar Resendez Jr. (2-4) and Henry Hausman (1-4, RBI); McLennan: George Callil (1-5, RBI), Joe Breaux (2-4, HR, 3 RBI), Nic Motley (1-2, 3B, RBI), Griffin Paxton (3-3, RBI), Brock Morrison (2-3, HR, 2 RBI), Nick Thornquist (1-2, RBI) and Cole Haring (1-1, HR, RBI). Record: McLennan 27-7 (9-3).