LAMPASAS — After a rough start in the Lampasas baseball tournament, Killeen took home the only local team victory on the third day of competition Saturday morning.
Lampasas and Shoemaker lost to end their tournament runs.
The Kangaroos started off the morning facing Jarrell without three of their top hitters, who were taking the SATs.
After choosing to play as visitors, the Cougars took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Killeen’s Jake Escalante made back-to-back defensive plays but on the second fly ball he jumped to reach, he landed hard on his back.
Escalante was examined by head coach Donald Trcka before being helped off the field and replaced by senior Micah Hawkins at second base.
Roos senior Bo Buckley brought in the tying run in the bottom of the first with a soft hit that only went a couple of feet in front of home plate.
Jarrell catcher Hayden Boyd tried to make the play at first but Matthew Arnold dropped the ball allowing Buckley to safely reach base.
A hit from Killeen catcher Rafael Berastain loaded the bases loaded for junior Jackson Taylor.
Alex Klepac kept throwing low, eventually walking Taylor to bring in Benjamin Kalio for a 2-1 Roos lead.
Hawkins sent a shot soaring over the second baseman into center field to bring in Buckley and pinch runner Lanzo Alnaldo, and Killeen was ahead 4-1 at the end of the first inning.
“Our kids battled and completed like we ask them to do,” Trcka said.
Jarrell quickly responded in the next at-bat scoring five runs.
Cody Calhoun was on the mound for the Cougars in the Roos’ next at-bat but it didn’t slow them down.
Brandon Fox had a base hit and Jullian Jasmin walked.
A ball in the dirt allowed Fox to steal third.
With runners on the corners and a full count, Kalio swung at the next pitch, knocking it into left field just inside the line.
Killeen fans yelled for Fox to tag third before heading home, confusing the runner. He quickly recovered and headed back for the plate to bring the Roos within a run of Jarrell at the end of the second inning.
In the Roos third, Kalio and starting pitcher Kevin Vargas Cruz were waiting on the corners after both walked as Fox came up to bat again.
Fox swung on the first pitch, launching the ball into left field as Aden Edgar dived for the catch and missed, giving Fox a double and Killeen two runs to tie the score 6-6.
Jasmin added a hit into left field, allowing Vargas Cruz and Fox to score.
Killeen took a 9-6 lead with an RBI from Kalio that shot straight to second base but grazed over CJ Allen’s glove and into center field.
“We struggled a little bit early and then we came out and started hitting the ball late,” Trcka said.
The Cougars added two more runs in the fourth inning.
It was a tie game in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded when Chris Pursley balked in a run for Killeen to give the Roos a 10-9 lead.
Jarrell made another pitching change but it didn’t make much of a difference as Buckley hit a, RBI single to score Jasmin.
The Cougars added one more run in the top of the sixth before Killeen had one last at-bat before time ran out.
Hawkins singled, Devonte Garrett was hit by a pitch and Vargas Cruz doubled into left field to put the Roos up 13-10.
Fox, who was just a homer shy of a cycle, sent a ball soaring to the right field wall for a triple that brought Vargas Cruz home and put Killeen up 14-10.
As Jasmin stood at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Fox to score to cap the Roos’ 15-10 win.
After struggling on the first day of the tournament, the Roos hope to take the energy from this game as they head to San Angelo Central for the District 8-6A opener.
“We had some kids step up that hadn’t been playing very much,” Trcka said of changes in his lineup. “They stepped up and they did a very good job.
“They did what they’re supposed to do.”
BADGERS, WOLVES LOSE
Lampasas struggled to contain Marble Falls in the afternoon. In the third inning, the Mustangs held a 5-1 lead over the Badgers.
Although they rallied in the bottom of the seventh with three runs, it wasn’t enough to catch the Mustangs who took a 6-5 victory over the host team.
Shoemaker faced off against Brownwood in the afternoon, aiming to advance to the championship game.
The Grey Wolves were looking to keep the game close as they stepped up to bat down 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning.
The Lions had a different idea as they put up nine runs in the second inning.
Shoemaker’s bats didn’t wake up until the fourth inning, when a triple from Kevin Mial brought Burt Cruz home.
Brownwood added another three runs in the fifth.
Shoemaker’s Ben Hamilton got a base hit in the bottome of the fifth and then stole second. He advanced to third on a balk and then scored on a wild pitch to cap the scoring in a 13-2 loss.
“Even though the game was out of reach,” Shoemaker coach Robert Conley said, “our guys continued to battle through.
“You have guys diving into home, diving for balls and working really hard, so it’s good to see that we’re still competing.
“There’s a few other things we need to improve on but for the most part we competed hard throughout the entire tournament.”
Marble Falls was supposed to advance to the championship game in the late afternoon but ran out of pitchers due to resting their planned starters for district play next week and bowed out.
Lampasas replaced the Mustangs in an exhibition game with Brownwood.
“Nondistrict stuff is over,” Trcka said of district play beginning, “we’re going in, new slate.”
Shoemaker hosts Ellison on Tuesday for 8-6A opener.
Lampasas will open District 19-4A on Tuesday at home against Llano.