Tough end to Mineola baseball season

By Phil Major
Posted 5/18/23

Mineola’s lone error was costly as the Yellowjackets fell to White Oak 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning of Thursday’s area baseball playoff game in Tyler.

Mineola starter Spencer …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Tough end to Mineola baseball season


Mineola’s lone error was costly as the Yellowjackets fell to White Oak 3-2 in the bottom of the 7th inning of Thursday’s area baseball playoff game in Tyler.

Mineola starter Spencer Joyner had worked around a lead off walk and stolen base to coax an infield pop up to send the game to extra innings.

But the towering shot toward the first base side of the mound caught the south wind and drifted away from first baseman Kaden Bell.

The White Oak runner, going on the play, was easily able to cross the plate with the winning run.

Joyner had kept the White Oak lineup largely off balance, allowing just a 2-run 6th inning on a single and double. The runs came in on a pitch that went to the back stop and a sacrifice fly to center.

That tied things after Mineola plated a pair in the second without a hit.

The Mineola batters were patient with Texas Tech commit Gavyn Jones, who had to leave in the 5th when he hit the maximum pitch count. He gave up eight walks and hit two batters.

That led to numerous base runners, but yielded only the second frame scores.

Mineola opened the game with infield hits by Cason Davis on a sharp shot at shortstop and a bunt single by Jacob Castleberry.

Braydon Alley fouled off two full count pitches before drawing a walk to load the bases.

But Joyner’s bunt attempt with two strikes went foul, and Jones also rang up the next two.

The bottom of the inning saw the first of numerous attempts by second baseman Dalton Hamlin, who had back-to-back put outs to second and then first following a hit batsman.

Bell was hit to lead off the second but was forced out on Hamlin’s grounder.

Walks to J.J. Gandy and Davis loaded the bases.

A passed ball on a Castleberry bunt attempt scored Hamlin, then he also walked to reload the bases.

Alley lifted a towering shot to the warning track in right center that scored Gandy and advanced Davis to third. A grounder up the middle made an easy out at second to end the threat.

Joyner fanned two to start the second, then Hamlin made a great stop moving toward second and Davis scooped it on one hop.

In the third, Mineola managed runners at first and third with two outs on a walk and infield error, but the rally ended on a runner caught stealing second.

White Oak managed runners at second and third with no out in the third on a dropped third strike and soft liner to right center that went for a double. A bunt attempt did not advance the runners, and an intentional walk loaded the bases.

A pop out to second and fly out to right quelled the rally.

A hit batsman and two walks – one intentional – loaded the bases for Mineola with two outs in the fourth, but that chance ended with a strike out.

A one out walk, single and sacrifice bunt had White Oak threatening in the fourth with two outs, but Joyner got the strikeout to end it.

A one out walk in the 5th was Jones’s last batter for the Roughnecks, but the runner was stranded at second as Landyn Grant came on in relief.

After Hamlin and Davis combined for a stellar put out to open the fifth, Joyner snared a hard hit shot right at him to throw to first for the second out.

A pair of walks and a pitch to the screen gave White Oak runners at second and third. Hamlin fielded yet another grounder and threw to Davis to end the inning.

Alley’s two-out single to right was the only Mineola runner in the sixth, as three batters fanned.

After White Oak tied it in the 6th, Mineola tried to strike back. Ty Burch singled to center, and with two outs, Hamlin reached on an error by the short stop.

But Gandy was thrown out on a slow roller toward first.

White Oak advances to face Harmony, having ended Mineola’s season for the second straight year.