Highlanders drop two games to Cisco

Highlanders drop two games to Cisco
The top-ranked McLennan Highlanders dropped a pair of games by the score of 5-4 to the Cisco Wranglers Thursday afternoon at Bosque River Ballpark.

Kyrell Miller took the loss for the Highlanders on the mound in game one, coming in to relieve starter Bailey Horn.

McLennan got on the board first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Joe Breaux drew a lead-off walk and Josh Breaux doubled. Joe came in to score on a ground out by Brendan Venter. Josh then scored on a single by Griffin Paxton.

Cisco tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the second. Wesley Phillips singled and Johnny Gonzales was safe at first on a McLennan error. Nolan Ritchie singled to score Phillips, and Gonzales scored on a single by Kevin Granger.

The Highlanders regained the lead with two runs in the third. Nic Motley was hit by the pitch and scored on another double by Josh Breaux. Josh then moved to third on a ground out by Paxton and scored on a double by Cole Haring.

The Wranglers tied the game once again with two runs in the fourth as Gonzales walked and scored on a home run by Ritchie.

Cisco scored the winning run in the top of the seventh inning as Allonte Wingate walked, moved to second on a sacrifice by Stephen Pena, advanced to third on a ground out by Michael Hoehner and came in to score on a McLennan error.

The Highlanders also fell to the Wranglers 5-4 in the second game of the day with Brady Childress taking the loss on the mound in relief of starting pitcher Logan Freeman.

Cisco scored two runs in the first. Wingate singled and moved around to third on a sacrifice by Pena and ground out by Hoehner. Ritchie then singled to score Wingate. William Hollis and Hunter Hill both singled, bringing Ritchie in to score.

The Wranglers doubled their lead in the second. Luke Horanski and Wingate both singled and advanced on a Highlander error. Horanski scored on a sacrifice fly by Pena and Wingate scored on a wild pitch.

McLennan tied the game with four runs in the fourth. Josh Breaux, Venter and Haring all singled to load the bases. Nick Thornquist followed with a single to score Josh and Venter. Chase Sortor then singled to score Haring and Thornquist.

One run in the top of the sixth was the game-winner for Cisco. Wingate doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice by Pena. Hoehner followed with a sacrifice fly to score Wingate.

"Today was not our best day. I give Cisco a lot of credit; they came in with a need of a couple wins to try and get back into the conversation about being eligible to play in Lubbock next week. They came in and competed very hard, which I expected," head coach Mitch Thompson said. "That's kind of the way this conference is – very competitive from top to bottom. Nobody is going to give you anything. You've got to go take it, you've got to earn it, and today Cisco earned two wins."
"I'm disappointed that we didn't play better today. It's one of those days that we just didn't get good starting pitching. We made a few errors defensively that cost us some runs, and we didn't swing the bat well enough to the day, to the ballpark and to the way the ballpark was playing. We hit some hard to the pull side that just didn't go anywhere. We were hitting them right into the teeth of 20 mph wind. We were stubborn and kept trying to hit them, and they didn't go."

"At the end of the day, this a game that will humble you – a game that will bring you right back down to earth. I've seen it over and over through the years. To win 19 games and be sitting here with a one-game lead with two to play in our conference and a record of 44-9, I'm going to take it. I'll take these kids any day and twice on Sunday; and we will bounce back. We will show back up on Saturday to go play at Cisco and we will compete hard. I know these kids want to win. I'm with them, and I'm proud of them. We are dealing with some new expectations, and we've got to learn how to handle it."

Cisco 5, McLennan 4
Cisco 020 200 1 – 5 5 1
McLennan 202 000 0 – 4 7 2
Joseph Sgambelluri, Anthony Gomez (7) and Michael Hoehner. Bailey Horn, Kyrell Miller (94) and Josh Breaux. WP: Sgambelluri; LP: Miller; SV: Gomez. Leading hitters – Cisco: Nolan Ritchie (2-3, HR, RBI) and Kevin Granger (1-1, RBI); McLennan: Josh Breaux (2-3, 2 2B, RBI), Brendan Venter (1-3, RBI), Griffin Paxton (1-3, RBI) and Cole Haring (1-3, 2B, RBI). Record: McLennan 44-8 (25-4).

Cisco 5, McLennan 4
Cisco 220 001 000 – 5 12 1
McLennan 000 400 000 – 4 8 1
Matt Willrodt, Derek Wells (6), Anthony Gomez (9) and Michael Hoehner. Logan Freeman, Brady Childress (4), Palmer Wenzel (7), Nick Urbantke (9), Josh Breaux (9) and Nick Thornquist. WP: Willrodt; LP: Childress; SV: Gomez. Leading hitters – Cisco: Allonte Wingate (3-5, 2B), Stephen Pena (1-2, RBI), Michael Hoehner (2-4, RBI), Nolan Ritchie (2-4, RBI) and Hunter Hill (1-5, RBI); McLennan: Brendan Venter (2-4), Nick Thornquist (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) and Chase Sortor (2-4, 2 RBI). Record: McLennan 44-9 (25-5).