By Tony Altobelli
Killeen Daily Herald
The full moon got its money's worth on Saturday night at the Killeen High School baseball field.
After playing to a 2-1 Roo win in the first round of District 16-4A play, Killeen and Lampasas played anything but a pitchers' duel as the Badgers overcame an early eight-run deficit to prevail 17-12 in a game that had a little bit of everything to offer the fans in attendance.
It's hard to imagine, but in a game with 29 runs, 26 hits, 12 walks and four hit batsmen between the two teams, it was a strong pitching performance that pulled out the win for the Badgers (8-14, 3-5 in district)
After Killeen jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning, relief pitcher Dakota Smith came in and managed to hold the Roos (5-16, 1-6) to just three runs (two earned the rest of the way). He allowed four hits over the next 5 1/3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts.
It was all Roos early on.
With the score tied at 2 after an inning and a half, Killeen's bats came to life, as the Roos sent 12 men to the plate and scored eight times. Ian Sibberson and Andre Crathers each had two-run singles in the frame, while Luis Rodriguez and Nolan Martin each added RBI hits of their own. Two other runs in the second were scored on an RBI walk by Matt Paradise and a successful first-and-third double steal.
But the Badgers would not pack it in as they outscored the Roos 11-1 over the next two innings to retake the lead.
Scheduled starter Justin Moreno injured his foot off the field and was hobbling on crutches during the game, leaving the Roos short-handed on the mound.
"If he's pitching, there's no way we give up an eight-run lead," KHS coach Mark Carranza said. "We hit the ball great tonight, but we had mediocre pitching and a team like Lampasas will hit mediocre pitching."
In their four-run third, two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with two outs and Chris Coleman cashed them all in with a three-run triple to center. Coleman later scored on a wild pitch to make it 10-6.
After an unearned run for Killeen pushed the score to 11-6, Lampasas turned six hits, three walks and a hit batsman into seven runs. Kristen Leverett's two-run single to center capped off the 12-batter frame for the Badgers as they took the lead, 13-11.
An unearned run for Lampasas in the fifth made it 14-11 before Tim Scott led off the bottom of the frame with a double to left, his third hit of the game. A grounder by Matt Funk moved Scott to third and a safety squeeze brought him in to make it 14-12. Scott finished the night 3-for-5 with four runs scored.
But it wasn't enough as the Badgers added on to their lead with three in the seventh, keyed by a sacrifice fly by Coleman and an RBI single by Patch Dimas.
Coleman finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs and five RBIs. The Badgers' 7-8-9 trio of Adam Johnson, Spinner Dimas and Will Perry reached base 12 times (five hits) in 15 at-bats and scored nine runs.
Other Roo offensive stars included Martin (2-for-3, two runs scored), Sibberson (2-for-4, one run, two RBIs) and Crathers (2-for-3, two runs, two RBIs).
The Roos play at Hewitt Midway on Tuesday night before concluding the season at home with Ellison on Friday. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Contact Tony Altobelli at firstname.lastname@example.org