White Oak Cruises Past Beckville to Force Game 3
LONGVIEW -- Heath Hood ran hard as the ball left his bat and sailed toward the center field fence.
Hood, the White Oak shortstop, made it to third base before the ball made it back his way. His triple started what would be a pivotal fifth inning for the Roughnecks in Friday's Game 2 matchup with Beckville in the 3A Region II regional final series.
Facing elimination, White Oak used that inning to coast to a 12-0 victory in six innings and force a Game 3 at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
"It's like we've talked about multiple weeks in a row about having confidence in our kids," coach Skylar Stagner said. "They were just determined. You could see tonight the fight they had left in them. I thought we did did a good job with our pitching rotation, mixing things up and not letting them be able to see a guy two times in a row. I think that helped us out a lot."
Collin Bower started at pitcher for the Roughnecks (30-8), but Layton Anderson relieved him after 1.1 innings. Anderson entered with the bases loaded and struck out leadoff hitter Trey Lindsay before forcing Michael Mize to ground out to keep Beckville (33-4) scoreless.
Jacob Young relieved Anderson in the fifth, allowing just two hits in what would be the final two innings.
"They came in in some tough situations," Stagner said. "Sometimes with less than two outs. It just showed how much confidence they had in themselves. They can get up there, throw a strike, let them put the ball in play and we can make some plays behind them."
The Roughnecks led 3-0 entering the fifth inning when Hood blasted the ball to the center field wall. His run was followed by a couple of walks to load the bases for a two-RBI single straight up the middle from John Thomsett. White Oak scored six runs on only three hits in the inning to create distance and secure the game.
White Oak got itself out of more than a few tough situations on defense. Beckville twice left the bases loaded and left 11 runners stranded in all.
The Bearcats and Roughnecks have seen each other plenty of times this season. District 16-3A rivals, they split the regular season series and, with White Oak's victory Friday, Game 3 will be for both the overall season series bragging rights and a trip to the state tournament.
If fans thought the past two games were exciting, Game 3 has the makings to be even better.
"I think it's going to be louder than it was today," Stagner said. "That's for sure."
White Oak 12, Beckville 0
Class 3A Region II Regional Final Series
Game 2, Longview
White Oak 210 063 — 12 10 0
Beckville 000 000 — 0 7 2
Pitchers and catchers
- White Oak: Collin Bower (1.1), Layton Anderson (2.2), Jacob Young (2.0) and Graham Young.
- Beckville: Zeke Collins (3.0), Michael Mize (1.2), Clayton Burnett (1.1) and Ben Bridges.
WP — Anderson.
LP — Collins.
- White Oak: Dalton Sumrow.
- Beckville: Bryce Osborn, Zeke Collins.
- White Oak: Heath Hood.