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Late-Inning Rallies Lift Whitehouse to Wins Over Pine Tree + Atlanta

Whitehouse shortstop Patrick Mahomes fields a ground ball against Atlanta on Thursday during a doubleheader against the Rabbits and Pine Tree. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

WHITEHOUSE — Whitehouse used the big inning to spark a pair come-from-behind victories Thursday afternoon, ensuring the Wildcats begin District 16-4A play next week on a positive note.

Whitehouse scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to edge Pine Tree, 4-3, before erupting for seven in the sixth to take down Atlanta, 9-7.

The Wildcats, who open district play at home against Lindale on Tuesday, improved to 11-5 on the season.

“Hopefully this is going to be a turnaround and we’re going to see some things string together and get on a little bit of a run right here,” said Whitehouse coach Derrick Jenkins.

Whitehouse 9, Atlanta 7

Whitehouse trailed Atlanta (10-7), 7-2, entering the sixth inning, but put together a big inning that was helped along by wildness on the mound and timely hitting at the plate.

Aaron Clemons and Ryan Cheatham drew consecutive walks to begin the inning, and when Coleman Patterson was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded with nobody out.

Rex Swinney laced a sharp single to left field to score Clemons, but Cheatham was thrown out at home for the first out. After Eric Munoz popped out to second, Michael Nuon was hit by a pitch to re-load the bases.

Jared Raabe then connected for a two-run single to center field, and Nuon came home on a passed ball to cut the deficit to one run. Whitehouse took an 8-7 lead three batters later when Clemons lined a two-run single to right. Cheatham added an insurance with an RBI single to center.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit as far as getting things going and being consistent, hitting-wise,” Jenkins said. “And we finally strung some hits together. We’ve had people on base all year long and hadn’t got some key hits, but we got some today.”

Raabe, Clemons and Swinney all finished with two RBIs for Whitehouse. Cheatham went 2-for-3 and stole a base.

Peyton Conser got the win in relief, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.

“Peyton’s been a very good surprise for us,” Jenkins said. “I wasn’t sure how much he’d pitch this year. He throws two pitches for strikes … when he comes in, he’s not going to walk a whole lot of batters. I’ve been very pleased with how he’s done this year.”

Logan Bise went 2-for-4 and Seth Williams had two RBIs to lead Atlanta.

Whitehouse 4, Pine Tree 3

The Wildcats had the magic working in the sixth inning as well against Pine Tree.

Aaron Clemons, Cheatham and Patterson all singled to begin the inning, loading the bases for Swinney, who walked to bring in the Wildcats’ first run of the inning.

Munoz was then hit by a pitch to tie the game, 3-3, before Nuon’s sacrifice fly to center field brought home the eventual game-winning run.

“We scored 10 runs in the sixth inning today out of our 13,” Jenkins said. “One thing about this group … we haven’t had a season where everything’s come easy. We’ve played a lot of good teams early, and we’re finally finding ways to win games. That’s kinda what you have to do right now with the district that we’re in, and especially in the playoffs when you get to that point.”

After getting six solid innings on the mound from Cheatham, Jenkins turned it over to Jake Parker in the seventh. After getting one quick out, Parker walked Spencer Anderson and Blake Adams.

With two outs, Chris Chadwick drew another walk to load the bases. But Parker nailed down the save and the win with a strikeout.

Cheatham got the victory, allowing two earned runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and four walks in six innings.

Raabe went 2-for-4 and Munoz had two RBIs to lead Whitehouse at the plate.

Chris Chadwick was 2-for-3 with a solo homer and Jake Oden doubled and scored a run for Pine Tree.

“Nothing has been very smooth this year,” Jenkins said. “Last year we were young … everybody kinda doubted us from the get-go. This year, it’s just been a little different. Everybody’s kinda up for you; they’re here and they’re putting their best game forward every time. And our kids are still adapting to that a little bit, getting used to being that (team) that everybody’s trying to beat so bad.”

Whitehouse 4, Pine Tree 3

Pine Tree            000    111    0    –    3    3    2
Whitehouse         000    103    x    –    4    7    2

PT — John Cravey, Andrew Lee (4), Chris Chadwick (6), Trevor Thomas (6) and Blake Adams. WH — Ryan Cheatham, Jake Parker (7) and Derek Clemons.

WP — Cheatham.
LP — Lee.
S — Parker.

2B — PT: Jake Oden.
HR — PT: Chadwick (sixth inning, solo).

Whitehouse 9, Atlanta 7

Atlanta           211    003    0    –    7    7    1
Whitehouse    001    107    x    –    9    7    2

Atl: Jeffery Thomas, Chase Musgrove (6), Logan Bise (6) and Seth Williams. WH: Jake Parker, Jared Raabe (1), Peyton Conser (2) and Derek Clemons.

WP — Conser.
LP — Musgrove.

2B — WH: Derek Clemons, Eric Munoz.
3B — Atl: Jack Flowers.

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