Rockwall-Heath Outlasts Longview, 5-4, In Nine Innings
LONGVIEW — The defending Class 4A state champion Rockwall-Heath Hawks entered Friday night’s District 12-5A clash with Longview expecting a win.
And they got one. But not before Longview summoned a two-out rally in the seventh inning, which forced the game into extra innings with Rockwall-Heath ultimately claiming a 5-4 victory in nine innings at Lobo Field.
“It’s always tough to lose, but we battled,” said Longview coach Bennie Martinez. “They’re the defending 4A state champions; they’re a very good ball club. We lost but I feel like we’re going to grow from this down the road in fighting for a playoff spot from this district.”
Rockwall-Heath (12-7, 3-0) scored the eventual game-winning run when Clayton Rasbeary led off the ninth with a triple to the gap in right-center and came home on Russell Hughes’ groundout to short.
The Lobos (9-4, 1-1), which lost for the fourth time in five games after an 8-0 start, had a golden opportunity to get that run back in the bottom half of the inning.
Sophomore Dez Chumley led off with a line drive into the right-field corner, but ran through the third-base coach’s stop sign and was thrown out at third.
“Dez is a very good athlete and very emotional; young mistakes,” Martinez said. “He was so excited in the moment, and didn’t see coach holding him up. I accept that when you play young kids. We were holding him up, you never want to make the first or third out at third. You’ve got to live and die with the young ones, and that’s what we did there.”
Rockwall-Heath reliever Taylor Enochs struck out the next two batters to finally finish off Longview, which extended the game by scoring three runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
With Longview trailing 4-3, Rockwall-Heath starting pitcher Ryan Kinney retired the first two batters he faced in order to begin the bottom of the seventh, leaving it up to Longview’s Sam Scarborough — the nine-hole hitter — to keep the game alive.
Scarborough singled to center, then moved up to second on a wild pitch. Spencer Barton followed with a sharp grounder that glanced off Rockwall-Heath second baseman Logan Kinney’s glove, allowing Scarborough time to round third and head home for the game-tying run.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Sam Scarborough,” Martinez said. “He has struggled for the last two years, but he’s in a good spot. For him to go up there and get a hit and keep the inning alive … he never gives up, he keeps working at what he does. We talk a lot about extending innings. Any time you extend with two outs, great things happen. The hardest outs to get are the first and last. And to see that actually happen was a good experience for the kids.”
The comeback spoiled what was a dominating effort on the mound by Ryan Kinney. The left-hander struck out 13 and allowed four runs on nine hits in seven innings. Enochs got the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
“We did the best we could, but that lefty they threw pitched a great game,” Martinez said. “For us to scratch and claw says a lot about our character.”
Barton suffered the loss for Longview, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 3 1/3 innings of relief. Starting pitcher Will Bradshaw allowed four runs on 10 hits with seven strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
Dylan Brown and Tyler Ivey each went 3-for-4 to spark Rockwall Heath’s 13-hit attack, which included five doubles and two triples.
Barton, Scarborough and Alec Bradshaw all had two hits for Longview.
Longview scored two runs in the sixth inning, cutting the deficit to 4-3. And the Lobos once again did their damage after two outs.
Tre Allen legged out an infield single, stole second and came home on Reid Russell’s double off the wall in left. Russell advanced to third on Alec Bradshaw’s infield single, then came home on a wild pitch.
“Anytime you face a guy that goes deep into the game, you have better chances to score,” Martinez said of Heath pitcher Ryan Kinney. “He had command of all three of his pitches. He had a game plan and executed it wonderfully. It was difficult for us to have an approach and get to him. We just took advantage of opportunities here and there. He made mistakes and we capitalized on them — passed balls and leaving some pitches up. He made some mistakes and we hurt him late.”
Rockwall-Heath grabbed a 3-0 lead with a trio of runs in the third. RJ Williams led off the inning with a double, then scored on Brown’s RBI triple. Bret Boswell drove in Brown on a bloop double to shallow left field. Boswell then stole third and came home when the catcher’s throw to third sailed into left field.
Longview got on the board in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single to center by Scarborough.
Rockwall-Heath built a 4-1 lead in the sixth on Williams’ two-out RBI single.
Longview returns to the field Saturday at Mount Pleasant before resuming district play Tuesday at Mesquite Horn.
Rockwall-Heath 5, Longview 4 (9 innings)
Lobo Field, Longview
Rockwall-Heath 003 001 001 – 5 13 1
Longview 001 002 100 – 4 10 1
RH: Ryan Kinney, Taylor Enochs (8) and Kelly Dorsett. LON: Will Bradshaw, Spencer Barton (6) and Austin Attaway.
WP — Enochs.
LP — Barton.
2B — RH: Bret Boswell (2), RJ Williams, Tyler Ivey, Dylan Lewis. LON: Reid Russell, Dez Chumley.
3B — RH: Dylan Brown, Clayton Rasbeary.