Hawks claim victory over Arlington-Seguin with game-winning bunt
The Ellis County Press
RED OAK - The Red Oak Hawks Varsity baseball team improved their record to 2-1 in district with a win over Arlington Seguin Thursday, March 20.
The 2-1 victory was the result of a game-winning bunt off the bat of junior shortstop Taylor Curry which just barely stayed to the right of the third base foul line.
The bunt allowed pinch runner Andrew Saum to advance from third to score the Hawks’ game-winning run.
Junior Colby Kissinger took to the mound for Red Oak and pitched a solid game, allowing only a single hit and racking up a number of strikeouts.
Kissinger also jump started the Hawks’ offense to a quick one run lead in the first inning.
After a double by lead-off man Kissinger, Curry pushed his teammate to third with a sacrifice bunt.
Kissinger then crossed the plate on a passed ball to bring the score to 1-0, Red Oak.
The first two innings proved to be smooth sailing for Kissinger, as he kept Seguin scoreless and gave the Hawks a chance to take the lead.
However, in the third a base on balls came back to haunt the junior pitcher when the speedy runner for Seguin stole two bases and then made it to home on a passed ball to tie the game at 1-1.
The bottom of the third inning started out promising for the Hawks.
Kissinger and Curry singled to put runners on first and second with no outs.
With the number three and four batters, sophomore Cody Alsup and junior Darren Eubank respectively, about to come to the plate Red Oak was in a good position.
After a strikeout from Alsup, lefty power-hitter Eubank smashed what looked to be a sure-hit into left center field.
However, with the outfielders shifted to the right, the Seguin left fielder snagged the line drive and doubled up Kissinger, caught off the bag, at second base to end the inning and the Hawks’ hopes at another run.
The two teams remained locked in a stalemate through the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, with Kissinger striking out the side in the fourth and making two good plays on ground balls in the sixth.
Red Oak also failed to manufacture any runs in these three innings, racking up nine straight outs without ever reaching first base.
Kissinger again kept Seguin scoreless in the top of the seventh inning, giving the Hawks a chance to take the game in the bottom half.
After a strikeout from freshmen second baseman Zach Gonzalez, sophomore Jake Ashford singled in to right field and was then swiftly replaced with pinch runner Saum.
The speedy right fielder Cody Thompson then reached first, bunting and then beating out the throw.
Senior center fielder Dustin Massey, batting ninth, then advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt.
With the game slipping out of their grasp, Seguin chose not to risk pitching to lead off man Kissinger and intentionally walked the junior.
So, with the bases loaded and with two outs in the bottom of the game’s final inning Taylor Curry stepped to the plate and promptly laid an unexpected bunt down the third base line.
Hoping the ball would roll into foul territory, the Seguin third baseman watched as the ball slowly trickled down the line and finally came to a stop fair.
The bunt allowed Saum to cross home plate and score the game-winner.
The walk-off bunt gave Red Oak a winning record with victories over Seguin and Lancaster.
This year’s Hawks make up the youngest Varsity baseball team Red Oak has seen in many years, with only two seniors typically appearing in the starting line-up.
Although lack of experience may hamper the Hawks’ playoff run this year, the team has plenty of young talent that will only improve with time.
Brandi Smith 5, Lorina Salinas 1, Amber Franklin 1.