Angelo Rodriguez was thrown out at home trying to score from first base on Ethan Schaefnocker’s double.
Ellison coach Kyle Allred was sure he was safe.
Rodriguez left no doubt his next time at bat. A junior varsity player last season, Rodriguez hit a two-run double in the top of the sixth inning and gave the Eagles their second straight District 8-5A win Tuesday night, 7-6 over rival Killeen in a 3-hour affair.
“He’s a tough kid mentally,” Allred said of Rodriguez. “He’s got what I call a good, short memory. He forgets what happens
previously and he just plays the game of baseball.”
Ellison (6-15, 3-3 8-5A) trailed 5-3 after the third inning, but Eagles’ nine-hole hitter Landon Persick drilled a two-run homer over the left field fence with two outs to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the fourth inning. Rodriguez’s liner to the left field fence plated Sam Weston and Taylor Jacobs, who both reached on errors, in the sixth.
Killeen (3-14, 2-4) took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Ellison relief pitcher Schaefnocker hit Marcos Hinojos with the bases loaded and one out. Schaefnocker hit three batters and walked two in the inning, but escaped the jam when officials ruled Jacob Hinojos popped up at home plate as Garrett Gaskamp was attempting to steal home from third base.
The controversial call took momentum away from Killeen after the Roos gained some when officials ruled that Killeen left fielder Gaskamp threw Rod-
riguez out at home as he was trying to score from first on Schaefnocker’s double.
“They had bases loaded and with one out and then you get a double play out of that play right there. ... Yeah, that swings momentum,” Allred said. “That takes them from having bases loaded to us coming back with a one-run deficit and back in it and gives us a chance.”
Jayson Figueroa’s double in the first inning plated Rodriguez and Felix Collazo and gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Killeen answered with three in the bottom of the inning. John Rechtorovic and Marcos Hinojos hit back-to-back run-scoring singles and Gaskamp scored on an error to give the Roos a 3-2 lead.
Weston led off the Eagles’ second inning with a double and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
Devyn Darnell opened Killeen’s half of the second inning with a lead-off single and scored the go-ahead run on Gaskamp’s double. Gaskamp gave the Roos their 5-3 lead when he scored on Rechtorovic’s two-out single.
Killeen left eight runners stranded and committed seven errors after taking its 5-3 lead.
“We had some errors late that didn’t help out, but it doesn’t hurt as bad as leaving guys in scoring position,” Killeen coach Donald Trcka said. “We ended up leaving seven guys on second and third (base), which when you do that, you’re going to have a hard time. You’ve got to score runs.”
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562