Whitehouse Hangs On to Beat Prosper + Advances to Class 4A Region II Finals
McKINNEY -- Whitehouse earned every bit of its fourth consecutive series sweep in the playoffs.
Patrick Mahomes escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the seventh to lift Whitehouse to an 8-7 win over Prosper on Saturday at McKinney Boyd High School, completing a 2-0 sweep of their Class 4A Region II semifinal series.
Whitehouse (29-8), eliminated in the regional semifinals a season ago, is now one step short of the first state tournament berth in school history. The Wildcats will face Frisco Liberty in the regional finals next week with the winner advancing to Round Rock.
"We're real happy, don't get me wrong, but we want to be in the state tournament," said Whitehouse coach Derrick Jenkins after Saturday's win. "We've been talking about that for a year."
Game 2 began Friday night in Waxahachie, but after waiting through three weather delays, the decision was made to suspend play until Saturday. The teams agreed on Boyd High School, located just 12 miles from Prosper High School.
"The whole team was pretty upset last night, we wanted to finish it out on Friday," said Whitehouse's Michael Nuon, who pitched three innings of relief for the win. "We knew they were 15 minutes away and they were going to have a big crowd. Everything between the lines is what matters, whatever happens outside the field doesn't matter."
The game resumed with Whitehouse leading 6-3 with one out in the bottom of third, but Prosper (19-18-1) erupted for four runs in the fourth to take the lead and threatened to force a third game in the seventh.
Nuon retired Money Hunter, son of Major Leaguer Torii Hunter, on a ground ball to begin the inning. But after Zach Kubala walked and Alex Nelon doubled, the Eagles had the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
Mahomes, the Game 1 winner, came in and hit Brandon Gilson to load the bases.
"I knew I had an open base so I wasn't going to serve (Gilson) up anything too nice," Mahomes said. "After that, I was still locked in and knew I could get a ground ball and get two or a strikeout."
Mahomes then got Prosper leadoff hitter Aaron Maxey to chase an outside pitch for a strikeout. He finished things off by getting Tyler Webb to ground to third baseman Jake Parker, who stepped on third for the force-out.
"To see a guy come in, after throwing so well Thursday, and get those two outs right there you can't say a whole lot more than that," Jenkins said of Mahomes. "That right there is what you expect out of him, and that's a big-game pitcher right there."
Nuon went three innings in relief of starter Ryan Cheatham. He did not yield a run and gave up three hits and with two strikeouts and two walks. Nuon, who is prolonging surgery on his third torn ACL until after the season, inherited three baserunners in the fourth. Steele Walker's three-run double cleared the bases and gave Prosper a 7-6 lead, but Nuon allowed just four runners after that.
"It's something special," Mahomes said of Nuon. "With a torn ACL, for him to come in and throw big innings in these playoff games … he's an amazing player. It just gives us motivation to know that we can do anything."
Whitehouse came right back in the fifth with two runs to re-take the lead. Cheatham's bases-loaded walk put the Wildcats up for good, moments after a game-tying RBI single by Derek Clemons, whose three-run homer in the first inning Friday gave Whitehouse a 4-0 lead.
"I felt good in the cages this week," Clemons said. "My spot in the lineup is to drive in runs and I feel like that's what I do when I get up to bat. I just look for my pitch to drive when runners are in scoring position, and that's what I had the chance to do this weekend."
Gilson, a left-handed TCU signee, took the loss for Prosper. He allowed eight runs (seven earned) on six hits with five strikeouts and nine walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Prosper's Walker and Nelson each had three RBIs apiece in the losing effort.
Clemons finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs to lead Whitehouse, while Mahomes was 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Eric Munoz had a hit, walked twice, stole two bases and scored twice. Jake Parker walked in all four plate appearances and had two steals.
"We've played one-run games and two-run games like that all year long and we didn't expect anything different today," Jenkins said. "We knew (Prosper) lost Game 1 twice and came back and won the next two. There's no question … these (Whitehouse) kids right here, they know what their goal is and they're not ready to give it up yet."
Whitehouse 8, Prosper 7
Class 4A Region II Semifinal
McKinney Boyd High Schoool
Whitehouse 420 020 0 -- 8 7 0
Prosper 030 400 0 -- 7 10 1
Whitehouse: Ryan Cheatham, Michael Nuon (4), Patrick Mahomes (7) and Derek Clemons. Prosper: Brandon Gilson, Jace Vines (5) and Aaron Maxey.
WP -- Nuon.
LP -- Gilson.
S -- Mahomes.
2B -- Whitehouse: Mahomes. Prosper: Gilson, Tyler Webb, Steele Walker, Alex Nelon.
HR -- Whitehouse: Clemons (first inning, two on). Prosper: Nelon (second, two on).
Records -- Whitehouse: 29-8. Prosper: 19-18-1.