WACO — Joseph Marin let one pitch get away from him and hit Waco Midway’s JJ Davis with the bases loaded to tie the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Panthers scored the go-ahead run on the next at-bat on an RBI single by Tripp Clark.
Ellison had the victory in its grasp Tuesday, but just couldn’t hold on, falling 6-5 to Midway.
The win clinched a share of the District 12-6A championship for the Panthers and dropped the Eagles into a third-place tie with Copperas Cove heading into Friday's season finale.
The Ellison bats came alive in the second inning.
Marin scored the first run of the game for the Eagles on an error, which was followed by a Juliet Vascot sacrifice fly that brought home Carlos Felix.
Ellison finished the second inning with a 3-1 lead as Preston Mills crushed an RBI double deep to center field.
“The kids played great,” said Ellison coach Ty Oppermann. “You know, when I talked with them before the game, I told them I wanted to see if we were happy to be a playoff team or do we legit want to contend. They showed today that they’re a legit team and want to contend.”
Midway was pressing in the third inning and regained the lead 4-3.
Tye Hill showed his athleticism as he sprinted for a shallow fly ball in center field and made the catch. Hill quickly threw a dart to first base and turned a double play to close out the third.
Hill followed up his defensive effort with a triple in the top of the fourth that gave Ellison the momentum.
“Tye’s a great athlete and what I loved about his at-bats today was he was hitting curveballs,” Oppermann said. “He’s been steadily working all year to get better at-bats and now all of the sudden he hits two curveballs, one for a double and one for a triple. When he starts doing that, then now it opens up his ability to bunt, run and do all the stuff as an athlete. He just had a phenomenal game.”
Preston Mills was great at the plate for Ellison as well.
Mills was 4 for 4 with two RBIs, and his RBI single in the top of the sixth inning helped Ellison reclaim the lead, 5-4.
Even though the Eagles didn’t come away with the victory, Ellison proved they could be a threat in the playoffs.
“We proved tonight that we can play with anybody in the state,” said Oppermann. “We had adversity, but we played great and I’m really proud of these kids.”
Ellison closes out district play Friday at Belton.
TUESDAY'S 12-6A BASEBALL
- Belton 12, Waco 2, 5 innings
- Copperas Cove 3, Killeen 1
- Temple 4, Harker Heights 3
- Waco Midway 6, Ellison 5