By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS – Georgetown's Taylor Jungmann broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run and his Eagles responded in the fifth with five more runs as they rocked Harker Heights 8-1 to win the first game in a best-of-three bi-district playoff series.
Georgetown scored two unearned runs in the top of the fifth and loaded the bases before Wade Gordy's run-scoring sacrifice fly gave the Knights (14-14-1) their first out of the inning and the Eagles (24-8) a 4-0 lead.
Jason Stone followed Gordy with an RBI triple and scored on a sacrifice by Erik Miller before Garrett McCulley grounded out to make it a 6-0 advantage.
"That solo shot doesn't hurt you as much as if you give up a three-run homer," Heights coach Glenn Cunningham said. "It definitely helped (Georgetown's spirits), woke them up. We knew they were going to score some runs and that wasn't going to hurt us. They shouldn't have scored as many runs as they did in the fifth. Our defense let us down a little."
Game 2 of the series picks up this afternoon at Georgetown High School at 1 p.m., with Game 3 to follow 30 minutes after Game 2, if necessary.
Jungmann's homer in the fourth was the first Georgetown hit off Heights ace Korey Wacker, but the Eagles still put three men on base in the first three innings off a walk and two Knights' errors. Heights committed five errors and gave up three unearned runs.
"We were a little frustrated in the first 3 1/2 innings," Georgetown coach Danny Wallace said. "(Jungmann's homer) hit the fence and bounced out, and after that we knew we were good. The next inning, we kind of got to (Wacker). He pitched well early, but we tried to stay upbeat and (Heights) opened the door with some miscues."
Tommy Seigman led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single to left and Ethan Vernon walked to first. Miller, Georgetown's No. 3 pitcher, struck out Robbie Belliveau and forced Divante Goodsby into a fielder's choice that put Knights on first and third before Ryan Balentine hit a two-out, RBI single to left field.
The Eagles committed their only error fielding Wacker's ground ball but Miller struck out David Kipp, leaving the bases loaded.
"We just didn't get the big hit when we needed it," Cunningham said. "I thought we played well early. I thought we swung the bat well early. We were hitting the ball at people, but we were hitting the ball hard. We just couldn't get anything to fall in."
Wacker (7-3) allowed seven hits, walked four and struck out two in the loss while Miller (6-0) struck out five, allowed five hits and walked just one in six innings for Georgetown.
Andrew McKirahan scored on an error in the top of the sixth inning after Andrew Massey flied out to left. Seigman threw to second base trying to pick off McKirahan but Daniel Driver couldn't handle the throw and McKirahan motored around third, giving the Eagles a 7-1 lead.
Cunningham pulled Wacker in the seventh after the Eagles loaded the bases with one out. Cody Dunn gave up a run-scoring single to Matt Bell before Belliveau caught Kyle Osborne's sacrifice fly to right and made the throw to Goodsby at home to get the out before the Eagles could do any more damage.
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562.