AC News Service
SUGAR LAND, TX (Press Release)- Even when they were down by eight runs, the Angelina College Roadrunners didn't panic. After all, it was mere days ago when they'd staged a late rally from nearly the same deficit.
AC got its rally, but it ended up being too little, too late in an 11-8 loss to Wharton College in Friday's opening round of the Region XIV Conference Tournament at Constellation Field in Sugar Land.
The Pioneers opened up a 4-0 lead in the first three innings, but put the game out of reach with a six-run inning in the fourth – a half inning after AC posted two unearned runs to get to within a 4-2 score. Wharton's Spencer Griffin hit a two-run homer, and Rene Pineda and Monty Kaley each added two-run singles in the inning.
With his team trailing 10-2, AC head coach Jeff Livin walked up and down the dugout, reminding his team "We haven't even started hitting yet." Reliever Kevin Roe entered in the fourth inning for the 'Runners, holding the Pioneers in check – he allowed a single earned run over the next five innings – until the AC bats caught up.
The Roadrunners began chipping away, getting three runs in the fifth: Cort McPherson scored a pair with a two-run triple, and Chris Estrada got a run home via sacrifice fly. 10-5, Pioneers.
In the sixth, Jacob Finke took a pitch off his leg, later scoring on a passed ball for a 10-6 Wharton lead. Mitch Henshaw in the seventh blasted an opposite-field, two-run homer to pull AC to within two runs at 10-8.
The Pioneers added a run in their half of the seventh when Griffin tripled and scored on an Enrique Sanchez double, leaving Wharton with the 11-8 lead. Wharton closer Joseph Baltrip shut down the Roadrunners in order in the ninth, dropping AC into Saturday's elimination bracket.