The Roos ran out of rallies.

After rallying from a 4-1 second-inning deficit and an 8-4 deficit in the seventh, Killeen didn’t have an answer for Waco’s final two runs in the top of eighth, losing 10-8 on Monday.

Justin Rodriguez’s RBI triple gave the Lions (12-12, 5-2 8-4A) their two-run cushion in the top of the eighth and then he retired the Killeen side in the bottom of the inning, getting Ryan Jones, Josh Yonker and Zach Blankenship, three of the Roos’ biggest sparks throughout, all to fly out.

“It was very hard. I felt we could come back,” said Yonker, who was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, an RBI and a run scored. “I always had my hopes up as high as possible because we can do anything we put our minds to, but we came up short. There’s always Friday.”

Blankenship was 3-for-5 with three singles, an RBI and a run scored. Jones was 2-for-5, but had an RBI single in the fifth, a triple in the seventh and scored in both innings.

Killeen (8-16, 2-5) chipped its way out of a 4-1 hole to tie the game at four in the fifth, but the Lions, who had just one hit between the second and seventh innings, took their 8-4 lead on three hits and four walks in the top of the seventh.

“It’s hard and these guys want to be in the playoffs — hadn’t been done in a long time — and they can do it,” Killeen coach Mark Carranza said. “It’s in God’s hands, not ours. It’s determined, already, if we’re going to be there, so we’ll find out as it rolls out, but we’re going to play and we’re going to play as hard as we can.”

Jones tripled to lead off Killeen’s seventh and Yonker followed with his second walk in as many at-bats. Jones scored on a wild pitch to Blankenship, who eventually reached on a single and scored on a stolen base. Anthony Freeman loaded the bases on a hit-by-pitch and Andrew Ramos drew an RBI walk, cutting the Lions lead to 8-7.

Jeff Wilson’s RBI single tied the game and Deontre Huey, who was courtesy running for Yonker, almost scored the game-winner, but in a bang-bang play, was called out at home on Josh Allyn’s single.

“I think the call at the plate was a close one and I think it could’ve went either way and it went their way,” Carranza said. “They took advantage of it and scored two (in the eighth) and we couldn’t come back from that.”

The Lions got their first two baserunners of the night aboard on walks in the first and Brandon Borger and Tyler Massey followed with back-to-back run-scoring hits and Waco led 2-1 after the first inning. Waco opened the second inning and its 4-1 lead with three hits, including consecutive run-scoring doubles by Adrian Norwood and Collin Meza.

Yonker’s RBI double plated Allyn in the bottom of the first for Killeen. Freeman’s sacrifice plated Huey, running for Yonker, in the bottom of the fourth. Yonker and Blankenship led off Killeen’s fourth with back-to-back singles before Freeman’s sacrifice.

Killeen scored two two-out runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Allyn doubled, and Jones and Blankenship each registered RBI singles to tie the game at 4.

“There are some games where the other team may have a better pitcher and we really can’t do nothing about it, but with teams like this, we can compete,” Carranza said of the Roos’ rally. “That’s what you want to do. You want to compete and some days they’re going to be your games and some days they’re not. Tonight, it wasn’t.”

Contact Kevin Posival at or (254) 501-7562.

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