GREENWOOD — Big Spring baseball was also on the receiving end of a loss on the road Tuesday, as the Rangers held on for a 5-2 win over the Steers, throwing a monkey wrench in Head Coach Bert Otto's plan to nab the No. 2 seed out of District 4-3A, which is more desirable than a No. 3 spot due to the strength of potential opponents.
In the top of the first inning, Karsten Knudson and Haegan Rodriguez led off the game with back-to-back singles, then Knudson scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Gunnar Kennedy to put the Steers up 1-0.
The Rangers tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning.
An RBI triple, two walks and a wild pitch led to a 3-1 Greenwood lead in the bottom of the third, but the Steers answered in the top of the fourth.
Kennedy — who also pitched 5 1/3 innings, striking out three and walking four — led off with a single and was advanced to third base on a single by Max Pappajohn.
Jarred DoPorto reached on a fielder's choice, Pappajohn was thrown out at second and Kennedy scored, making it a 3-2 game.
Adam Franco relieved Kennedy on the mound, but he entered the game with bases loaded and two more runs — both unearned — would score as a result of an error before Franco retired the next two batters.
Greenwood pitcher Zach Long struck out the side during Big Spring's final at-bat.
The Steers are still in the hunt. Wylie was upset by Snyder — who Big Spring swept — Tuesday. The Steers still have a rematch with Wylie as well as meeting with Monahans, which BSHS Head Coach Bert Otto said is “playing better” as district draws to a close.
“We have to make routine plays,” Otto said. “We have to eliminate the mistakes and we could be smarter on our pitch selection. They are pretty selective about what they swing at in practice, I don't know what happens when they get in a game. Maybe they are trying too hard.”
Otto's focus will be on the basics as they prepare for their last two regular season games.
“We will try get that key hit,” Otto said. “We've struggled with that lately. We have hit the ball at timnes, but it seems like our bloopers go to their gloves and their bloopers find the gaps.”
FORSAN — The Buffaloes were already in the playoffs, but with Tuesday's 15-5 run-rule win over Texas Leadership Charter Academy, Forsan has locked up at least the No. 2 seed in District 6-1A. The Buffs have a legitimate shot of capturing the district championship, but to do so, they have to beat the division bully Miles on the road.
Blaise Coffman — who is returning to the mound after missing time with an injury — started the game for FHS and pitched two innings. Coffman recorded a strikeout and walked two and gave up four hits.
“He threw well,” Forsan Head Coach Jason Phillips said. “We didn't play well behind him. Our defense was sluggish, but he threw strikes. We wanted to get him a couple innings of work and get him back in the rotation.”
Clayton Galloway fanned seven batters in three innings and walked zero in relief of Coffman.
Galloway also picked up two RBI on three hits. Trevor Burchett recorded three hits and three RBI, Matthew Mims picked up two hits and had three RBI, Dillon Bagnall had a RBI single, Copeland Riddell and Tyler Evans each contributed two RBI and Martcus Cervantes had a RBI.
“The defense picked up and the offense came through,” Phillips said. “We hit the ball well. If we can beat Miles and Winters, we are district champs, but it's going to be tough. We'll be in Miles Friday and they have probably the best pitcher we've seen and will probably see him again. We have to make them play defense. If we can put the ball in play, I think we have a good shot.”
COAHOMA — The Bulldogs secured a playoff spot Tuesday with a 7-2 win over district foe Denver City, earning at least the No. 3 seed and staying in the hunt for either a title or a No. 2 seed.
What makes Coahoma's playoff berth special, is the fact that the squad didn't win a single game last year.
The Bulldogs — who are 4-2 in their division and 11-11 overall — are a classic example of how win-loss statistics can be meaningless. CHS had plenty of talent which was being developed during the frustrating year, then a new head coach in Bryan Jacobs put all the pieces together.
“We knew what we were dealing with,” Jacobs said of the outing against Denevr City. “We expected it to be a fairly high-scoring game since we used different pitchers, but it didn't turn out that way.”
Jamen Sanchez pitched 2 and 1/3 inning and was relieved by Ryan Campbell.
The Bulldogs plated two runs in the bottom of the second, two in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run homer by Hayden Adamson, two in the bottom of the fifth after a bases loaded single courtesy of Eddie Hagins and one in the final inning on a safety squeeze by Zach Crabtree.
Disaster was averted when Tanner Ruiz made a great — albeit controversial — catch in the outfield in a bases loaded situation in the top of third.
“It was an unbelievable catch to get the third out,” Jacobs said. “He was even surprised it was in his glove.” The Denver City staff argued that Ruiz trapped it instead of cathing it cleanly, but the call on the field stood and the inning came to a close.
The Bulldogs will face Brownfield on the road Friday, but a huge game — a rematch against Lamesa — will be held in Coahoma on Monday at 7 p.m.
The Golden Tornadoes defeated the Bulldogs 5-1 in their first meeting, but CHS has one more win.
“It will be a big game for us,” Jacobs added.
GREENWOOD — It was a game with playoff implications for Big Spring as they took on the Rangerettes on Tuesday and in an unusually low-scoring game, Greenwood edged the Lady Steers 2-1.
Offensive struggles have plagued Big Spring for the past two weeks.
In the top of the fifth inning, Ayanna Gomez scored on a double by Mercedes Ruiz to put the only run on the board for the Lady Steers.
Loagn Yarbar kept Greenwood's offense in check, striking out the side in the bottom of the second, but it was three costly errors committed by BSHS tipped the scales for the Rangerettes.
The Lady Steers are down, but not totally out of the playoff picture. From here on out, however, their destiny will largely be determined by how the district pans out.
If BSHS can top Monahans on Saturday, they are still very much alive.
“We just didn't hit the ball,” BSHS Head Coach John Sparks said of Tuesday's outing. “As far as I'm concerned, they're capable of making the plays, but the errors killed us. We gave up two unearned runs that won the ballgame. That's not supposed to happen.”
With only two games remaining, Sparks plans to finish the season on a high note and hope things fall in his favor regarding a postseason berth.
“If we can beat Monahans on Saturday, we should be in. If Monahans should beat Greenwood, we could have a three-way tie. I talked to the girls, all I can do is encourage them. They know what kind of game we have coming up and they know they are going to have to be focused. This year, we have said we have to believe. Believe in our ability and believe in each other.”
FORSAN — The Lady Buffaloes lost 8-7 in a nondistrict matchup with Midland Christian on Tuesday. Forsan Head Coach Shanna Taylor scheduled the game as a practice before the Lady Buffs begin a postseason run.
COAHOMA — The Bulldogettes defeated Denver City 15-5 in a run-rule victory Tuesday. Coahoma will be on the road against Brownfield on Friday.