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Indians squeak past visiting Lion baseball in district finale, 4-3

The Lions didn’t come out on top in their final 15-4A ballgame, but they did play much better against the Waxahachie Indians in the rematch on Friday night.
With playoff position set in stone, Ennis (19-8-1, 8-4) was content to move the ballgame to Waxahachie on the heels of the afternoon rains. The Lions tied things up with a three-run fifth inning, but an error in the Indian seventh with two outs and the bases loaded prevented extra innings as the green team escaped with a 4-3 win.
The Indians out-hit Ennis 8-7 and committed fewer errors (3-2), yet didn’t exhibit nearly the same dominance they showed in an earlier 8-1 victory over the Lions – who struck out 13 times that night. Ennis hit more pop flies than it would’ve liked on Friday, but only struck out five times.
“I thought we pitched and hit well enough to win,” said coach Kevin Kalinec.
“We got some clutch hits when we had to, but for some reason we’re still struggling defensively. It’s not like we don’t work on defense everyday.”
Two of the three Lion errors directly resulted in two Waxahachie runs, so defense was the difference in the ballgame.
Corey Betik (two singles, two RBIs) and Chris Lewis (double, single) led the Ennis offense with two-hit games. Jon Lewis, Rusty Collins and Weston Montgomery each singled, while Edward Ortiz reached base every time via three walks and a hit by pitch.
Chris Lewis (5 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 W, 1 INT W, 2 SO) gave Ennis a chance to win on the hill as Montgomery (1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 INT W, 3 SO) came on in relief.
All four Ennis batters put the ball in play in the first, but only Chris Lewis (single) reached base. After two quick outs in its first, Waxahachie went up 1-0 via a Colton Cain double and a Drew Harrison RBI double.
In the Indian second, a double and an RBI single gave the home team a 2-0 advantage with no outs. First baseman Seth Zhanel came up big with a double play as he snagged a groundout and fired the ball to second; then Montgomery made a nice retreating grab behind second base.
“Seth made an excellent play there just like it’s supposed to look,” the coach said.
Though Jon Lewis started the Ennis third with a fly single to shallow right and Collins reached on an error, Indian pitcher Cain was able to get Matt Gunn to flyout with two runners in scoring position. Waxahachie went up 3-0 in the bottom of the inning when Harrison made it to third on a single as Betik committed an error trying to charge the ball in the air. A wild pitch then plated the run before Ennis got off the field.
“It was good to see Jon come up with a hit in this game,” Kalinec said.
“They scored that third run because Corey didn’t keep the ball in front of him; he needed to play it safe with two outs.”
Ennis was at its best defensively in the Waxahachie fourth. After Ortiz covered a lot of ground to track down a fly in left, Montgomery made another running grab behind second base and then Lewis stretched high on the mound to snag a line drive.
“Edward got on base every time and played well in left field,” Kalinec said.
“He battles so hard and his work habits are incredible. Some of our young players could learn from [Edward] because his hard work has paid off.”
Waxahachie’s Marshall Davis had taken over for Cain in the fourth, quickly working through the Ennis lineup, but he hit a wall in the fifth. The Lions batted around in the inning, as Chris Lewis blasted a line double to deep center field to put runners on second and third.
With the bags packed and two outs, Betik smacked a two-RBI ground single to left field.
Two batters later, third baseman Boomer Collins committed an error on a Tyler Hobbs grounder for a 3-3 game. The bases were still loaded when Zhanel flew out to end the threat.
“Chris pitched well and swung the bat well,” Kalinec said.
“He’s a solid ballplayer and you expect games like this from your seniors; he’s really playing well right now. Corey’s [two-RBI single] was pretty huge for us.
“He’s really come through with runners on and is starting to catch up with Rusty in RBIs. Corey knows his limitations and does what he’s capable of at the plate.”
While Boomer Collins singled to open the Indian fifth, Lewis picked him off at first. Cain doubled down the right-field line for the second time, but Waxahachie wasn’t able to regain the lead.
A Montgomery slow-roller single and a Collins ground single to right gave Ennis runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth. Unfortunately, the second baseman cut the throw down to second on a Collins steal attempt and picked Montgomery off at third to get his team off the field.
“Weston just finds a way to keep his hitting streak going,” Kalinec said.
“He’s one of several guys on our team trying to do too much at the plate; he needs to be patient and good things will happen for him.”
Montgomery came on in the sixth and mowed down the first two Indians while second baseman Clayton Mummert then fielded a groundout. Betik singled in the seventh and was thrown out going to second as Waxahachie entered the bottom of the inning with a chance to regain the lead.
After a bunt single got the home team started, Betik made an outstanding leaping catch of a Boomer Collins laser shot to right field. Though Montgomery struck out the next batter, the Indian baserunner made his way to third on passed balls.
Ennis intentionally walked Cain and Harrison to load the bases with two outs. Shortstop Hobbs fielded the ensuing grounder, but his throw to Mummert was a little off the mark and the second baseman was a little slow to arrive as the error sealed the win for Waxahachie.
“We got just what we wanted in the seventh; I didn’t want [Cain and Harrison] to beat us, so we put them on,” Kalinec said.
“We didn’t make the routine play to go to extra innings.”
Brownwood lost to Midway 9-2 on Friday, so Ennis will open the playoffs with a three-game series against the Brownwood Lions this week.
“We’re going to do everything we can to be ready for this first-round playoff,” Kalinec said.

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Posted by on Apr 28 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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