Highlanders cruise past North Central

Highlanders cruise past North Central

The No. 8 McLennan Highlanders picked up a 12-3 run-rule win over the North Central Lions in the second round of the Region V Tournament in San Angelo. Alex DeLeon got the complete-game win for the Highlanders on the mound.

The Highlanders jumped out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Jordan Yeatts was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning. Jalen Battles followed with a triple to score Yeatts. Battles then scored on a ground out by Cole Moore. Brett Squires and Aidan Shepardson drew back-to-back walks. Jaylen Williams followed with a single to score Squires.

McLennan added four runs in the third. Squires and Shepardson both singled. A fielder's choice by Williams loaded the bases. Squires scored on a wild pitch, and Brooks Embry followed with a three-run homer.

All three of North Central's runs came in the top of the fourth. Kemuel Thomas-Riveria singled and scored on a double by Spencer Bloom. Josh Blankenship followed with a single to score Bloom. Nick Tamez doubled and Blankenship scored on a sacrifice fly by Kaddin Mikulik.

The Highlanders responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Battles and Moore both singled. Battles scored on a sacrifice fly by Garrett Martin. Squires reached on a North Central error and Shepardson singled to score Moore.

Another Highlander run scored in the fifth as Embry walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Bishop, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a single by Battles.

McLennan rounded out the scoring with two runs in the sixth. Squires was safe on another North Central error. Williams followed with a two-run homer.

The Highlanders advance in the winner's bracket and will face Grayson or New Mexico at 5 p.m. Sunday.

McLennan 12, North Central 3
North Central 000 300 0 – 3 8 2
McLennan 304 212 x – 12 11 0
Rhett Kouba, Quincy Cooper (4) and Josh Blankenship. Alex DeLeon and Ryan Bishop. WP: DeLeon; LP: Kouba. Leading hitters – North Central: Clay Stevens (1-4, 2B), Tyrese Claybourne (1-3, 2B), Kemuel Thomas-Riveria (2-3), Spencer Bloom (1-2, RBI), Josh Blankenship (2-3, RBI), Nick Tamez (1-2, 2B) and Kaddin Mikulik (0-2, RBI); McLennan: Jalen Battles (3-4, 3B, 2 RBI), Cole Moore (1-4, RBI), Garrett Martin (0-3, RBI), Aidan Shepardson (2-3, RBI), Jaylen Williams (2-4, HR, 3 RBI) and Brooks Embry (2-3, HR, 3 RBI). Record: McLennan 41-15 (24-8).