Sophomore Reid Wall pitched a two-hitter and struck out a career-high 15 batters, and Jake Wellington had two RBIs to wrap up a big day at the plate as second-ranked Byng beat Pauls Valley, 5-2, in Thursday’s championship game at their Class 4A District Tournament.
The Pirates started the day with a 14-2 run-rule victory over the Panthers, and with the two wins they improved to 26-3 heading into next week’s regional tournament.
Elsewhere in area baseball Thursday, top-ranked Tupelo got five strong innings from ace Matt Benedict in a 10-4 victory over Stonewall at the Class B Regional Tournament in Tupelo.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 19-7 and are one victory from their 17th consecutive state tournament appearance. Stonewall — which beat Geronimo 11-6 in a first-round game — will face the Blue Jays again at noon today for the right to meet Tupelo in the championship game at 2 p.m. An if-necessary game would be played at noon on Saturday.
CLASS 4A DISTRICT
Byng 5, Pauls Valley 2
Wellington’s two-run single was the big blow in a three-run first-inning rally that gave Wall (5-2) all the support he needed.
Wall walked leading off the inning and scored the game’s first run on a groundout by Jake Scroggins, then Cody Williams walked and Joe Nemecek doubled ahead of Wellington’s single to right-center.
The Pirates added a run in the third on an RBI single by Andre Davis after a walk to Nemecek and single by Wellington leading off the inning, and they scored an unearned run in the sixth on one of four Pauls Valley errors in the game.
Losing pitcher Ty Knight gave up only six hits and homered for Pauls Valley in the loss.
Byng 14, Pauls Valley 2
Senior Clint Humphers scattered seven hits to earn his seventh win in nine decisions, and Wellington drove in two runs with a triple and a single to lead the Pirates to the run-rule victory.
Davis, who had two hits in each of Byng’s wins Thursday, singled home two runs in the first inning, then the Pirates broke the game open with a six-run third-inning outburst.
Wellington tripled home Nemecek (who had led off with a single) and scored on a single by Davis, and Tyler Pierce and Matt Wescott also doubled home runs later in the inning from the bottom two spots in the Byng lineup.
The Pirates added a run in the fourth without benefit of a hit, and they scored four times in the fifth, with the big blows RBI singles by Wellington and Braden Fortner.
CLASS B REGIONAL
Benedict pitched five shutout innings, and six of Tupelo’s nine hits were doubles as the Tigers built an 8-0 lead through five innings.
Trey Roberson doubled twice and drove in a run, Brandon Chamberlain had a two-run double in a seven-run fifth-inning rally that broke the game open and added a sacrifice fly in a two-run sixth, and Chat Henry added a two-run single in the fifth for the Tigers, who also god two hits from catcher Tanner Davis.
Chase Findley had two hits and drove in two runs for the Longhorns.