The No. 8 McLennan Highlanders opened the Region V Baseball Tournament with a 6-4 win over the Howard Hawks at Angelo State University in San Angelo. Sophomore Grant Miller picked up the win on the mound for the Highlanders, and Jack Driskell got the save.
The Highlanders began the scoring with five runs in the bottom of the second inning. Garrett Martin singled, Brett Squires walked and Aidan Shepardson bunted for a single, loading the bases. Jaylen Williams reached safely on an error, bringing Martin in to score. Squires scored on a balk and Shepardson came in on a wild pitch. Brooks Embry walked, and another balk brought Williams in to score. Ryan Bishop then singled to score Embry.
Howard got on the board with a run in the sixth as Ben McClain doubled, moved to third on a single by Diego Ramirez and scored on a single by Lance Russell.
Garrett Martin's solo home run in the seventh would be the Highlanders' final run.
The Hawks rounded out the scoring with three runs in the top of the eighth. Seth Ochoa singled, Russell walked and Brandon Pimental singled to load the bases. Ochoa came in to score on a passed ball, and Nick Jodway singled to score Russell and Pimental.
McLennan will face North Central at 5 p.m. tomorrow in round two of the double-elimination tournament.
McLennan 6, Howard 4
Howard 000 001 030 – 4 8 2
McLennan 050 000 10x – 6 6 1
John Carolos Ariza, Max Gehler (7), Noah Miller (8) and Raul Ortega. Grant Miller, Jack Driskell (8) and Ryan Bishop. WP: Miller; LP: Ariza; SV: Driskell. Leading hitters – Howard: Ben McClain (1-5, 2B), Lance Russell (1-3, RBI) and Nick Jodway (1-4, 2 RBI); McLennan: Garrett Martin (2-4, HR, RBI), Jaylen Williams (0-4, RBI) and Ryan Bishop (2-4, 2B, RBI). Record: McLennan 40-15 (24-8).