Whitehouse Escapes Lindale with a Walk-Off Walk
WHITEHOUSE — Patrick Mahomes’ warm up in the Wildcats’ bullpen said everything you would need to know about Tuesday’s 3-2 walk-off walk win against Lindale.
Runs were going to be hard-earned.
The Whitehouse ace and Texas Tech quarterback signee had control, velocity and all the confidence in the world as he dealt to catcher Rex Swinney prior to the pivotal District 16-4A matchup against a very solid Eagles team.
“I knew he’d come in and throw well,” Wildcats’ skipper Derrick Jenkins said. “We kind of gave him a break. He didn’t throw Friday just to kind of get him to this day right here where he could do some things.”
But Lindale, which has an offense that comes and goes anyway, wasn’t going to go down without a fight. It leans on its supremely clean defense, and pitcher Chase Brown held Whitehouse’s offensive advantage largely at bay.
The two teams combined for five runs Tuesday. None of the scores were batted in.
The Wildcats gave up a run via a fielding error and a score on a wild pitch just after Mahomes had eclipsed 100 pitches on his way to a 110-pitch night. The runner that scored on the wild pitch got on base thanks to a passed ball on strike three.
Lindale also gave up a run on a wild pitch and then a second run on a fielding error.
The Eagles’ lone error, an error that gave Whitehouse a 2-1 lead, will haunt the team.
With two outs in the bottom fourth, Whitehouse first baseman Ryan Cheatham appeared to foul off a pitch to the left side. The ball got caught in the lights, Linedale’s defense relaxed and then the ball magically dropped five feet to the right of the third base. Simply because there were two outs, a runner on second base ran home without any fear of having to tag up.
Mahomes finished his night with 10 recorded strikeouts and allowed one hit plus two walks and a hit-by-pitch in the complete-game win.
Lindale’s Brown pitched four complete innings and allowed four hits and three walks against three recorded strikeouts. Nash Walters replaced Brown in the fifth inning after Brown allowed a leadoff walk.
The three pitchers combined for no earned runs and a 2-1 game through six full innings.
Mahomes hoped to close the game in the top of the seventh.
That hope was dashed shortly after Linedale’s Kris Bond boarded the bags on the aforementioned passed ball. Dalton Sanchez then laid down a sacrifice bunt.
Mahomes’ threw a wild pitch while facing Tate Coomer to move Bond to third base and then a second wild pitch in the at-bat to score the runner and tie the game.
Coomer ultimately struck out for the second out of the inning, but Bryce Deupree reached safely on a fielding error before Mahomes’ final pitch struck Micah Walker out looking.
The Eagles’ couldn’t completely take advantage of their new gift of life, however.
Whitehouse’s Cheatham was hit by a pitch to put the leadoff man on the bags and then he was subbed out for courtesy runner Brennan McDaniel. Pinch hitter Grant Herrington laid down a sacrifice bunt. Swinney got a one-out base hit to move McDaniel to third.
Eric Munoz struck out swinging but reached first base on a passed ball while McDaniel was tagged out on his way to the plate for the second out of the inning.
Unfortunately for Lindale, Walters hit Caleb McNalty to load the bases and then Jake Parker was walked on four straight pitches to force Swinney home as the game-winning score.
“I’m going up to the plate looking to get a walk-off hit, but I’m also standing as close as I can to the plate to try to get a walk or get hit,” Parker said. “I did whatever I could to win the game for us.”
The win against Lindale could mark a resurgence for the Wildcats. A Class 4A state semifinalist a year ago, Whitehouse reached the midway mark of district with a league record of 2-3.
Parker pitched an abridged perfect game against John Tyler on Friday en route to a 15-0 win to close out the first half of district and the Wildcats are now back at .500 in the league after dropping as low as 1-3.
The Eagles’ loss Tuesday dropped the squad out of a share for first-place in the district, but both Lindale and Whitehouse are looking good for playoff berths in a worst-case scenario with Jacksonville and John Tyler struggling at the bottom of the standings.
“The perfect game was a great experience to be a part of,” Parker said. “It gave us a lot of momentum coming into the second round of district because we’ve got to win out to try to get first.”
Mahomes downplayed his gem of a night.
Tuesday’s win was more of a relief in his eyes.
“It feels amazing to get that win,” Mahomes said. “Lindale kind of started the slump we had. The attitude in the locker room is that we just want to stay hot. We know we can compete with anyone in the state, so we know if we’re hot going in that we have another chance to make a run at state.”
Whitehouse 3, Lindale 2
District 16-4A Baseball
Lindale 001 000 1 — 2 1 1
Whitehouse 100 100 1 — 3 5 2
Pitchers and catchers
- Lindale: Chase Brown, Nash Walters (5) and Tate Coomer.
- Whitehouse: Patrick Mahomes and Rex Swinney.
WP — Mahomes.
LP — Walters.