Highlanders sweep North Central in dramatic fashion

Highlanders sweep North Central in dramatic fashion

The McLennan Highlanders opened conference play with a pair of wins over the North Central Lions, both coming in walk-off fashion.
 
The Highlanders defeated the Lions 5-4 in game one with Daniel Cole getting the win on the mound.
 
McLennan began the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second. Garrett Martin doubled and Hank Bard drew a walk. Miguel Santos followed with a single to score Martin.
 
The Highlanders added a run in the third. Caleb Balgaard was hit by the pitch and replaced by Caden Harris to run. Martin singled, and Bard followed with a single to score Harris.
 
North Central got on the board with a run in the third. Anderson Azcinger was hit by the pitch and moved to second on a ground out by William Sembera. Samuel Haigood singled, and Clay Stevens followed with a double to score Azcinger.
 
McLennan scored two more runs in the fourth. Seth Morrow walked, moved to second on a ground out by Nick Pierce and advanced to third on a fly out by Jalen Battles. Jimmy Crooks then singled to score Morrow. Matthew Miles walked, and Brett Squires doubled to score Crooks.
 
The Lions tied the game with three runs in the fifth. Haigood singled and stole second. Stevens then doubled to score Haigood. Kaddin Mikulik followed with a two-run homer.
 
The Highlanders sealed the win with a run in the bottom of the ninth. Miles walked and Squires was hit by the pitch. Bard followed with the walk-off double to score Miles.
 
McLennan took game two 6-5 with Rene Ramos getting the win.
 
North Central began the scoring with two runs in the top of the first. Stevens led off with a double and Colby Seltzer walked. Both runners scored on a single by Josh Blankenship.
 
The Highlanders scored a run in the bottom of the first as Battles doubled and scored on a double by Squires.
 
The Lions added two more runs in the second as Haigood singled and scored on Mikulik's homer run.
 
McLennan added three runs in the third to tie the game. Squires singled and moved to third on a balk. Santos reached on an error, bringing Squires in to score. Santos then moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Morrow. Morrow moved to second on an overthrow, and Pierce followed with a single to score Morrow.
 
The Highlanders took the lead with a run in the fourth. Squires walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Martin then singled to score Squires.
 
North Central tied the game with Blankenship's solo home run in the fifth.
 
McLennan sealed the win with a walk off in the bottom of the seventh. Morrow tripled and pinch hitter Balgaard was given the intentional walk .Jaylen Williams replaced Balgaard as a pinch runnrer. Williams moved to second on a passed ball, and Alex Lopez was given an intentional walk, loading the bases. Crooks then drew a walk, bringing Morrow home to score and ending the game.
 
The Highlanders and Lions will complete the four-game series with a noon doubleheader Saturday in Gainesville.
 
McLennan 5, North Central 4
North Central 001 030 000 – 4 9 1
McLennan 011 200 001 – 5 9 2
Zeke Wood, David Johnson (6), Quincy Cooper (9) and Nixon Brannon. Riggs Threadgill, Daniel Cole (6) and Jimmy Crooks. WP: Cole; LP: Cooper. Leading hitters – North Central: Clay Stevens (2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI), Kaddin Mikulik (1-5, HR, 2 RBI) and Samuel Haigood (2-4); McLennan: Jalen Battles (1-5, 2B), Jimmy Crooks (1-4, RBI), Brett Squire (1-4, 2B, RBI), Garrett Martin (2-5, 2B), Hank Bard (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) and Miguel Santos (1-3, RBI). Record: McLennan 14-4 (1-0).
 
McLennan 6, North Central 5
North Central 220 010 0 – 5 7 2
McLennan 103 100 1 – 6 9 0
Jordan Powell, Morris Austin (5) and Zane Bandfield. Connor Phillips, Rene Ramos (5) and Heath Pickhardt, Jimmy Crooks (6). WP: Ramos; LP: Austin. Leading hitters – North Central: Clay Stevens (1-4, 2B), Kaddin Mikulik (1-4, HR, 2 RBI) and Josh Blankenship (2-3, HR, 3 RBI); McLennan: Jalen Battles (1-5, 2B), Jimmy Crooks (0-3, RBI), Brett Squires (2-3, 2 2B, RBI), Garrett Martin (1-3, RBI), Seth Morrow (3-4, 3B, RBI) and Nick Pierce (1-2, RBI). Record: McLennan 15-4 (2-0).