SHERIDAN – One of the struggles for the White Hall Bulldogs this season has been its inability to come through in key situations. It was no different in Monday’s 10-0 loss in six innings to the Sheridan Yellowjackets at Oliver Williams Field.
“They could score one run or 17 runs,” White Hall head coach Skip Carr said. “But we got to figure out a way to score a run.”
Three Sheridan pitchers combined for a four-hit shutout as the Bulldogs left nine runners on base in the season finale for White Hall (12-11).
“I just need guys who can produce with runners in scoring position,” Carr said.
After scoring a run in the second and the third innings, Sheridan (20-8) scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and ended the game in the sixth by scoring on a wild pitch.
“I was just as proud of the second and third inning as I was the fifth inning,” Sheridan head coach Mike Moore said. “Because we manufactured runs.
“We got one on and moved him around. Then got the ground ball to score him.”
In the fifth, Sheridan sent 11 batters to the plate and took a 9-0 lead on Tad Daggett’s three-run triple.
“We had a couple of good bunts, a couple of good hits and it just snowballed for us,” Moore said. “We have had several innings like that this year.”
Daggett and Tyler Rainey led off the fifth with back-to-back walks. A well-placed bunt by Hunter Strong loaded the bases and Daggett scored after Evan Thompson was hit-by-a-pitch.
Lathan Wylie hit a weak ground ball back to White Hall’s pitcher but the throw home sailed over the catcher, which allowed two runs to score.
David Vilches singled home a run and Tyler McKenzie – the lone senior for Sheridan – walked to load the bases.
After back-to-back strikeouts, Dagett hit a deep fly ball to right field to plate three more runs for the Yellowjackets.
“I thought it might get out of here,” Moore said. “That kind of put us over the hump.
“I’m proud of our guys.”
Sheridan will travel to Texarkana today to complete Friday’s game, which was postponed. White Hall will play in the 5A state tournament on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 p.m.
The game was originally scheduled for 3 p.m. but was moved because of White Hall’s graduation, which is Thursday night.
McKenzie earned the win for Sheridan after just two innings of work. He allowed two hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Sophomore Zach Glidden pitched three innings and allowed two hits with three strikeouts and two walks. Hunter Strong pitched the sixth inning and allowed two walks and struck out two.
“We play Thursday,” Moore said. “I just didn’t want anybody to have a tired arm. (McKenzie) may throw one inning in Texarkana.
“… Win or lose, we didn’t want our pitchers to be tired. We want everybody fresh and ready to go.”
Antoine Luster was tagged with the loss for White Hall. He allowed one run (earned) on two hits with two strikeouts and a walk. The Bulldogs used three other pitchers.
“I thought that worked out well,” Carr said. “They were around the plate. They did a good job.”
Kirk Baugh had a hit and two walks for the Bulldogs. Cade Canada, Aaron Johnston and Justin Archer had a hit each.
For Sheridan, Daggett had one hit, two walks, a run and three RBIs. Thompson had a hit and two runs scored while Vilches led the team with two hits in three trips with two runs and an RBI.
Carr said he is not concerned about the team’s confidence as they head into the tournament.
“We were working on our pitching today,” Carr said. “We hadn’t driven in many runners in scoring position all year and it continued today.”