Sundown head coach Kevin Torres was pumped up when the final out was recorded.
After falling to Post 9-6 on Saturday while holding the lead early on, the Roughnecks (6-1, 2-1) almost saw their lead collapse but eventually held on to a tight 7-5 victory against Tahoka (1-2 district) on Tuesday.
“District wins are huge,” Torres said, whose team improved to 2-1 in district play after falling to Post on the weekend. “We got to finish ball game a little bit better. We’re pretty young and somewhat inexperienced. [I’m] super pround of them. We are able to pull off the win.”
Christian Huey recorded a solid showing for Sundown on the mound courtesy of the solid defensive showing as he struck out one, walked one and allowed four hits on four runs. Aaron Swim recorded the save in his one-third inning showing to close out the game and end the Bulldog comeback that was fueled by a sac fly to center field from Kevin White that brought in Grant Tekell. Brother of Grant, Cameron, recorded a two-run RBI single that brought in Juwan Hamilton and Colbe Perez.
“[The] team backed me up,” Huey said, who picked up the victory on the mound. “Kwade Baccus made a good play, throwing the guy out to end the inning.”
“They [Tahoka] did a pretty good job right there in the seventh inning,” said Tahoka coach Stephen Overstreet, whose team fall to 1-2 in district play after defeating Seagraves. “Our bottom half of our order started rolling a little bit and had that next man up mentality. It was a positive way to finish. I was excited that they didn’t quit. They kept on fighting until the very end.”
The Bulldogs couldn’t find a way to continue their momentum from the beginning, as they scored the opening run in the top of the first inning, courtesy of a Tristian Tipton double and coming home after a wild pitch.
Sundown responded with a big inning of their own, going through seven batters in the first rotation.
Pitcher Huey was on base after being hit by the pitch. After a 4-3 out in Dylan Day’s opening appearance at the plate, Kwade Baccus recorded the RBI double to put the first run on the board to even the game at one run apiece. Brodey Black then made his plate debut on the day, where he hit a first pitch double, bringing in Baccus, to see the Roughnecks take an early 2-1 lead in the first inning. Sundown tacked on an insurance run with a RBI single from Swim that brought in Black.
Since the first inning, Tahoka struggled to find runs to add thanks to a stingy Sundown defense, who only allowed three hits in five innings, including a 6-4-3 double play in the top of the third.
More insurance runs came for Sundown in the second inning to extend the lead.
Kaden Marshall successfully got on base with a walk after being pitch four consective balls to be the leadoff runner for the Roughnecks in the bottom of the inning.
Errors plagued the Tahoka defense in the second inning, as Day and Baccus got on base with errors from catcher Tristan Tipton and John Quinonez, which placed the respective runners on base.
Black recorded his RBI on the day, bringing in Day and Baccus to extend the Roughneck lead to 6-1 after two innings of play.
After trading scoreless innings, the Roughnecks found an opportunity to extend the lead and was well used.
Huey recorded his lone hit of the day with a single, and stealing consecutive bases off wild pitches to score the lone run of the inning.
In Saturday’s game against Post, Sundown took off to a 6-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning. Post had a rally of their own, scoring six runs in the bottom half of the inning, all with two outs, to pick up a 9-6 victory and improving to 2-0 in district.
That same fate was almost replicated but the lone difference was that the Roughnecks finished the job.
Tahoka found a rally late, scoring three runs in the top half of the final inning of play. Grant recorded a stand-up single with a 0-1 count for the first hit of the inning. After a White flyout to left field for the second out, pressure was added to Sundown after Huey walked Hamilton. Huey was then off the mound and moved to first as Swim recceived the nod to close the game.
After an error from right fielder Rock Thoms, Cameron recorded a two-run RBI single to cut the lead to 7-5 but the comeback wasn’t enough as John Quinonez was out by a 6-3 play to close the game for the Roughnecks.
“We’re only six games in the season,” Torres said. “Experience is going to play out being in game situations. It’s hard to replicate that in practice.”
“We just got to finish more ball games,” said Huey.
Sundown was led by Black, as he went two-for-three on his plate appearances, and hitting an RBI. Swim also finished two-for-three on the day with a RBI.
Grant and Perez both went two-for-three respectively from the plate for Tahoka, as Perez recorded an RBI.
SUNDOWN 7, TAHOKA 5
Tahoka 100 010 3 — 7 – 8 – 1
Sundown 330 100 X — 5 – 5 – 6
W: Huey; L: R. Quinonez
SUN: 2B – Black 2, Baccus, Day; RBI: Baccus, Black, Swim; TAH: 2B – Tipton; RBI – Perez, C. Tekell