The Mineola Yellowjackets scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in a 12-2 win over visiting Quitman April 9. Yellowjacket starter River Simonek had another solid outing allowing three hits with six strike outs and a walk.
The final score did not reflect the early inning duel. Bulldog Wyatt McClanahan lined a single to reach in the first. He was forced at second on a ball hit by Trey Berry, who stole second and third bases and scored on a catcher’s throwing error.
Dalton Rogers beat out an infield hit to lead off for the Yellowjackets. He took second on a throwing error, stole third, and scored standing up on a passed ball to make it 1-1.
Simonek and Bulldog hurler Ty Holland settled in and threw scoreless second and third innings. In the second, Yellowjacket Jacob Dabbs was on third with one out. Designated hitter Bryce Strange hit a roller down to third. Bulldog third baseman Berry fielded the ball cleanly and gunned down Dabbs at the plate.
Both teams went down in order in the third.
Berry, who went 2-for-3 on the night, lined the first pitch of the fourth into left field. Ben Burroughs laid down a beautiful bunt which stopped halfway to the mound and advanced Berry to second. Berry went on to score on a passed ball to give Quitman a one-run lead.
Yellowjackets Cole Castleberry and Conner Dobbs hammered consecutive singles up the middle to start the bottom half of the fourth. Dobbs’ hit scored Castleberry, who had stole second base. Quitman called in Burroughs to take over pitching duties for Holland. Mineola was ready for him.
Six base hits followed as the Jackets tagged Burroughs and put six more runs on the board. Dabbs stroked a single through the right side, Caleb Gant and Strange reached on infield hits, and Rogers smashed a triple to deep right-center. Riley Fowler sent a liner to left scoring Rogers. Simonek ended the scoring for Mineola after he smacked a well-placed double down the left field line.
A scoreless fifth inning was highlighted by a stellar defensive play by Mineola rightfielder Jack Heard. With a runner on first, Bulldog Mason Reynolds lifted a sinking liner into right field. The ball was trailing toward foul territory. Heard, a freshman, got a great jump on the ball and made a full speed basket catch near the foul line. He straightened up and fired a bullet to first to double the runner. It was the defensive play of the game.
Quitman stand-out Berry crushed a Simonek fastball in the top of the sixth and the ball hit the wall at around the 360 foot mark in left-center.
After giving up three consecutive base hits and three runs in the bottom of the sixth, Burroughs yielded the mound to Cody Hawley. Hawley gave up a long sacrifice fly ball which brought in a run. Mineola’s Castleberry scored on a wild pitch ending the game with the 12th run.