All four Killeen Independent School District high schools struggled Friday during the second day of competition in the KISD Classic.
The annual tournament is held around this time every year, but this season the three-day competition hosted by Killeen, Ellison and Harker Heights comes after the start of the District 12-6A race.
“We already had two district games,” said Harker Heights head coach Randy Culp. “We’re just still trying to figure out our lineup and where our guys fit in.
“We usually have another two weekends to figure that out.”
With little time to prepare, every team is making adjustments as they face various Class 3A and 6A teams this weekend, including Bryan, Pflugerville Hendrickson, Saginaw Boswell, Troy, Waco University, Little River-Academy and Jarrell.
Fellow district opponent Waco participated in the tournament, but none of the 12-6A teams faced off.
The Kangaroos started the second day of the tournament with a record of 1-1 after a Day 1 loss to Troy, 5-2. Killeen concluded the first day of play with a 4-3 win over Academy.
Aiming to build off the momentum, Djuan Grant opened Friday’s game against Jarrell with a hit toward the shortstop. Grant made it safely to first on an error before Taluai Hisatake replaced him as courtesy runner.
Hisatake ended up stealing second before Tavion Grant worked up a full count and got the walk.
With two runners on, Alnaldo Lonzo chopped the ball up the middle on the first pitch for an RBI single to put Killeen on the board.
In the sixth inning, Jarrell batted around and scored eight runs to take an 11-1 victory over the Roos.
“One of the downfalls of starting early is having to really work our one and two pitchers,” said Killeen head coach Donald Trcka. “But really, we just need other guys to step up during the tournaments.”
Killeen will close out the tournament this morning against University at 10 a.m. at the Roos baseball field.
The Eagles also opened the first day of the tournament with a 1-1 record with a 12-2 victory over Jarrell before ending Thursday with an 8-3 loss against University.
The second day ended in similar fashion as Ellison faced Hendrickson on Friday morning.
It was a scoreless game until Preston Mills walked Nicholas Alonzo. With the Hawks shortstop on base, Edward Munoz belted a double into left field for an RBI that put Hendrickson on the board.
The Hawks led 1-0 throughout two innings before errors in the Eagles’ infield resulted in four runs for Hendrickson.
Down 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Ellison’s bats woke up.
Brian Gardner led off for the Eagles with a pop fly into center field that dropped in for a single.
Gardner stole second base on the second pitch to Tye Hill. The Eagles’ right fielder tapped an infield fly ball toward the shortstop and beat the tag at first for an RBI single.
On the first pitch to Julian Vascot, Gardner and Hill attempted a double steal when Hill hesitated and went back to first.
Hawks catcher Marcos Carrion attempted to throw Hill out at first but the throw went past first baseman Joseph Martin and into right field, allowing Gardner to come home.
Hill advanced all the way to third base on the error.
With a runner in scoring position, Vascot was still at the plate when a wild pitch got away from Carrion and Hill scored.
The Eagles were down 5-2 after Vascot struck out swinging to end the inning.
Hendrickson added another run in the top of the fifth before Hawks errors allowed Mills and Julien Jimenez to add two runs in the Eagles’ next at-bat.
Hendrickson added another two runs in the top of the sixth inning before time expired to take an 8-4 victory.
With little time to rest, the Eagles turned around and faced Bryan.
Ahead 1-0 at the start of the third inning, Ellison added five runs in the inning on the way to a 10-2 win over the Vikings.
The Eagles face Boswell at 10 a.m. at Eagles Field before closing tournament play against Troy at 3 p.m.
The Grey Wolves had a rough opening day, dropping two games on Thursday.
Shoemaker faced Troy on Friday and struggled from the start.
Grey Wolves’ errors allowed Troy to bring home eight runs to start the game.
Shoemaker answered in the bottom of the first with Benjamin Hamilton driving in Lorenzo Vallejo Silva to put the Wolves on the board.
The Grey Wolves inched closer as Thurman Thomas hit a fly ball into left-center field that rolled all the way to the fence to bring home two more runs and cut the deficit to 8-3.
From there, Troy added 12 more runs and won 20-3.
James Boyer tripled into the left-field corner for Shoemaker but was stranded
Shoemaker concludes tournament play against Boswell at 12:30 p.m. today at Ellison.
The Knights tied Bryan 2-2 on the first day of competition before taking a 6-3 loss to Hendrickson on Thursday afternoon.
Harker Heights faced University on Friday evening to close out the second day of the KISD Classic.
The Trojans opened with a 2-1 lead at the end of the first inning.
Harker Heights took the lead on a three-run double from Chan Rinehart. The Knights continued to move ahead with a two-run single from Riley Bridenstine.
The Knights led 6-2 going to the top of the fourth inning.
University’s bats then came to life as the Trojans quickly loaded the bases with no outs.
Despite three pitching changes from the Knights, Harker Heights could not find a way to slow down University as they added six runs to take an 8-6 win.
“We’re still playing around with the lineup and some guys are getting more chances to throw,” Culp said.
The Knights conclude tournament play at home against Jarrell at 3 p.m.
“That’s what’s great about tournaments,” Culp added. “You’re getting guys in to pitch that may not necessarily be the top one or two guy but they’re getting reps.
“You’re getting a lot of looks and just trying to get better.”
- Ellison 10, Bryan 2
- Jarrell 11, Killeen 1
- Pflugerville Hendrickson 8, Ellison 4
- Troy 20, Shoemaker 3
- Waco University 8, Harker Heights 6