The Harker Heights baseball team had an opportunity to make a dent at the top of the District 8-6A standings Tuesday at San Angelo.
But with the game tied at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Central scored a run in each frame the rest of the way — including two in the fifth — and went on to win 6-2.
The Knights had some difficulty solving Bobcats starting pitcher Brandon Pfingston. Pfingston threw a complete game and allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits and one walk with nine strikeouts.
Harker Heights took an early 1-0 lead, as Kaven Jones’ infield single in the top of the first scored Jacob Mitchell from third. Jones finished the game 2 for 3 to accompany his first-inning RBI.
Central (19-8, 9-2 8-6A) answered with a run in the bottom of the first to tie the contest at 1-1 on a sacrifice fly to right field by Nixion Brannon.
The Bobcats then took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Avery Whitehead scored on a passed ball.
The Knights (10-13-1, 7-4) tied the game back up in the top of the third, as Tre Martin lined a single to center to score Jackson Rinehart.
However, in the bottom of the fourth, Whitehead scored on a wild pitch to put Central ahead 3-2, a lead it would not relinquish.
In the bottom of the fifth, Whitehead singled to score two for the Bobcats, and Brock Martin tallied an RBI single to left to put Central up by four.
“I thought we played well enough to win,” Harker Heights head coach Randy Culp said. “Central is a good ball club and they put a lot of pressure on you. We left seven guys on base, and when they had scoring opportunities, they got the hit when they needed it where we didn’t.
“We had a few miscues in the field, but overall I think we match up pretty well with them.”
Brock Martin was 3-for-4 with a double to go along with his fifth-inning RBI single for the Bobcats, and Whitehead collected three hits in three at-bats with two RBIs and two runs scored.
For the Knights, Tre Martin was 2-for-3 and Spencer Young singled once in his three at-bats.
Mitchell took the loss on the mound for Harker Heights. He threw a six-inning complete game while surrendering six runs — four earned — on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Culp commended Mitchell for his work on the hill Tuesday, and he added that he likes his team’s chances tonight with Daniel Cole starting the game at pitcher, as the two teams will wrap up their two-game set at Harker Heights at 6 p.m.
“We’re looking forward to having Daniel on the mound,” Culp said. “Our guys will need to step up with him on the mound, score a few runs and give us a shot.”