Killeen’s teams had split results throughout the KISD Tournament Thursday and Friday.
After taking an early win on the first day of the tournament, Shoemaker faced Waco on Thursday night.
The Lions got one run at the top of the first but the Grey Wolves weren’t going to let them sit ahead too long as Burt Cruz ran one in after a wild pitch thrown to Kyle Figueroa to tie the score 1-1.
Figueroa popped one deep into midfield and as it dropped, Jesus Encarnation came home to put Shoemaker ahead 2-1.
The Grey Wolves kept Waco scoreless into the top of the third when errors started to add up and the Lions’ bats got going as they took a 3-2 lead.
Despite the troubles, the coaches kept the team from getting down on themselves yelling, “Shake it off, you can’t control that.”
Shoemaker came back in the bottom of the fifth as Carlos Rivera was sent in to pinch run after Figueroa hit one to the wall in centerfield for a double to start the half.
Rivera ran home on a wild pitch that got behind the Lions catcher, who hesitated on the throw for the tag, allowing Shoemaker to tie the score 3-3.
Alex Roche came up to bat with the bases loaded and no outs.
Roche launched one deep into a hole in mid-right field for a double that scored Dontoneo Williams and Maker Nena, pushing the Grey Wolves back on top 5-3.
Kevin Asher then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, bringing in James Bower and giving Shoemaker a 6-3 lead.
The Lions added a run in the sixth but in the seventh inning, Waco’s
bats came alive as they added four runs to take the 8-7 victory.
The second day of the tournament had Killeen start the afternoon facing Waco University.
The Kangaroos gave themselves an early lead when Brandon Fox and Julian Jasmin got within scoring position with a double steal off a wild pitch to Jackson Taylor.
Taylor launched one into right field for a single that brought Fox and Jasmin home and gave the Roos a 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Tavion Grant sent one into centerfield for a single RBI that had Marcus Carter cross home plate to further pull the Roos ahead 3-0.
University got on the board at the top of the third before scoring four runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-3 lead.
The Roos tied the score in the bottom of the seventh, when Kevin Vargas-Cruz doubled to tie the score with runs from Grant and Jasmin.
Both teams agreed to play an extra inning since time permitted, but both teams failed to bring in any runs, ending the game in a draw.
“They competed and we came back,” Roos head coach Donald Trcka said. “That’s all we ask them to do.
“We have got to cut down on the unearned runs,” he added of his team leaving four runs unanswered.
Killeen didn’t have much time to rest as they had another game immediately after.
“We’re going to talk to them a bit and tell them they got to get ready to go,” Trcka said of the quick turn around schedule. “They wanted to play games all week, and they get to go play more games.”
Across town, Ellison hosted San Antonio Holmes.
Julien Jimenez and Brian Gardner got on base for the Eagles before double stealing to get in scoring position in the top of the first.
Kenneth Rodriguez hit a fly ball to first base while Jimenez darted for home and beat out the tag to get Ellison its first run of the game.
Zachary Young hit a single to left field to bring in Preston Miles in the fourth inning, giving Ellison a 2-0 lead.
A double into deep right field for Julian Vascot brought in Preston Mills for a 3-0 Eagles lead in the fifth inning.
Ellison kept pulling further ahead with a two-run RBI into left field from Brian Gardner to bring Carlos Felix and Vascot home.
The Huskies had a pitching change but it didn’t make much difference as a double play in the top of the six quickly brought the Eagles back up to bat.
Starting pitcher Edward Eakin lasted the entire game and, along with the Ellison defense, kept Holmes from scoring.
“He pitched a great second game today and did what he had to do as far as throwing strikes and keeping people off balance,” head coach Ty Oppermann said.
The Eagles finished the second day of tournament play 2-0 after an early afternoon 7-5 win over Jarrell.
“We played consistent today,” Oppermann said of his team’s performance. “We cleaned up a little base running today.”
Harker Heights rounded out the end of the day facing Jarrell at home.
The Cougars took an early 5-0 lead over the Knights. Heights got on base but couldn’t make a run through three innings.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Heights was down 9-0 but the Knights’ bench woke up as they started getting vocal with their chants and it seemed to be distracting to the starting pitcher.
“We kind of got off to a bad start, walked a bunch and got behind,” head coach Randy Culp said.
Patience paid off for Heights as Matt Smith started the inning with a base hit followed by two walks for Jeff Salcedo and Chan Rinehart.
Bases were loaded with no outs when Christian Miller singled to run in Matt Smith and the Knights were on the board.
The entire Heights hitting rotation cycled through as Zane Wallace hit a single to bring in two runners.
The Knights trailed 9-3 as Jarrell brought in its first relief pitcher, Parker Fitzner.
The change didn’t slow Heights down as Fitzner walked three batters in a row, allowing the Knights to cut their lead down to four.
The Cougars made yet another pitching change, but Brandon Kluna singled allowing Rinehart to walk in another run.
Two more runs were walked in to end the inning with the Knights only trailing by one as Jarrell held a 9-8 lead.
Tournament time regulation ran out at the end of five complete innings and Heights fell just short of catching up to Jarrell.
For head coach Randy Culp, his team knows that this tournament is about learning.
“We always tell each other we want to be in a situation to win a game at the end of it and we were,” he said.
“Tomorrow’s a new day.”
Tournament play wraps up today with games starting at 10 a.m.