The No. 8 McLennan Highlanders fell to the No. 20 New Mexico Thunderbirds 9-1 in seven innings tonight at the Region V Tournament in San Angelo. Tanner Brooks took the loss on the mound for the Highlanders.
New Mexico began the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second. Adrian Torres and Angel DeLaCruz both singled. DeLaCruz was out at second on a fielder's choice by Junior Ramirez. Torres then scored on a ground out by Joaquin Ballesteros.
McLennan tied the game with a run in the top of the third. Cole Moore walked and Garrett Martin singled. Brett Squires followed with a single to score Moore.
The Thunderbirds scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to secure the win. Ballesteros and Joab Gonzales both walked. Rody Barker was hit by the pitch, loading the bases. Carlos Contreras also walked, bringing Ballesteros in to score. Zac Voolitech doubled to score Gonzalez and Barker. DeLaCruz followed with a three-run homer. Ramirez and Ballesteros both singled and scored on a double by Gonzalez.
McLennan moves into the loser's bracket and will face Odessa or Midland at 1 p.m. Monday. The winner will advance to the championship game and will need to defeat New Mexico twice to earn a trip to the JUCO World Series.
New Mexico 9, McLennan 1
McLennan 000 100 0 – 1 2 1
New Mexico 010 080 x – 9 10 1
Tanner Brooks, Max Mize (5), Brant Bennett (6) and Vince Ippoliti. Jairo Vasquez and Rody Barker. WP: Vasquez; LP: Brooks. Leading hitters – McLennan: Brett Squires (1-2, RBI); New Mexico: Carlos Contreras (1-3, RBI), Zac Voolitech (1-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Angel DeLaCruz (3-4, HR, 3 RBI), Joaquin Ballesteros (1-2, RBI) and Joab Gonzalez (1-2, 2 RBI). Record: McLennan 41-16 (24-8).