Whitehouse Baseball Gets The Last Laugh, Knocks Corsicana Out Of Playoffs
CORSICANA -- Fire and ice. That's what propelled the Wildcats' season into next week.
Mason House recorded both RBIs while pitcher Ryan Walls only allowed three Corsicana base runners in Whitehouse's 2-0, one-game, Class 5A regional quarterfinal playoff series victory Friday before a double-capacity crowd.
With the win, the Wildcats ousted their own district champion from the postseason. Whitehouse was the fourth and final team to make it out of District 16-5A and lost both its regular season appearances against Corsicana by a combined score of 10-4.
The sides decided they had seen enough of each other ahead of the most meaningful showdown.
"We kind of both thought a one-game was the best for everything right now," Whitehouse head coach Derrick Jenkins said. "We played a 12-inning game last year and an 11-inning game this year. We thought every game would be this way. (Corsicana coach Heath Autrey) flipped, we won, they kind of won, and we ended up just kind of picking a one-game together.
"I knew after we kind of labored for two games with a lot of pitches and things like that, that I wanted to go one-game just to see what we could do right here. They beat us twice. To beat us three times, at their place, that's hard to do."
Corsicana (23-7) rolled to an 11-1 league record and Whitehouse (21-10) staved off the bottom half of the district to keep within the playoff picture.
Friday's playoff meeting allowed Walls to meet Corsicana ace Corbin Hall.
The Wildcats broke free much earlier than their opposition in terms of creating breaks. Brandon Rossiter drew a full-count walk in the second inning and Clayton Pruitt stood in to take a pitch against his body in the third before stealing second base to become the game's first runner in scoring position.
Still, there was some stringing to do to break a team that handled Whitehouse in the regular season.
Walls pitched a perfect game through three full innings.
House, the team's center fielder and cleanup hitter, took matters into his own hands in the top of the fourth. He blasted a one-out, full-count changeup beyond right field for a 1-0 advantage.
His next time up, in the sixth inning, House took a full-count fastball deep to right field to advance Connor Clark's courtesy runner, Zach Taylor, from second base to the plate.
"We were trying to keep things simple," House said. "We didn't want to do too much. We knew it was going to be a big game, big atmosphere, and all the pressure was going to be on them. We just had to relax and do our jobs."
Walls' perfect game and no-hitter were knocked away by Hall with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. However, Walls rallied to dispose the next two batters and threw a perfect fifth inning.
The sixth inning had some potential for Corsicana.
Walls walked his first batter of the night, nine-hole hitter Zach Mahoney, with one out in the frame. Hall got down an infield single with two outs to put runners at the corners.
Jackson Kennemore got away a mammoth hit to right field on Walls' 65th pitch of the game. And with no reason to hold since there were two outs, Mahoney and Hall took off immediately for what looked like an easy double off the wall.
Pruitt made a Willie Mays catch at the warning track in right field to preserve the shutout. That was the exclamation point on a zero-error night for the defense.
Walls eliminated Corsicana with nine pitches in the bottom of the seventh -- his fifth and final perfect inning of the contest. His final line was two hits and one walk for zero runs on 96 throws.
"They beat us twice before," Walls said. "I know they're hard to pitch against. You've just got to focus on getting that leadoff runner out. If you get their leadoff runner out, they can't do what they're good at. Which was bunting, moving runners over and clutch hits."
Whitehouse will face Wylie in the regional semifinal round. Wylie swept Prosper, a perennial power, for the opportunity.
Lufkin, the second-seeded District 16-5A team, swept Hallsville on the opposite side of the regional bracket and faces Mesquite Poteet next week.
Three league teams made it to the third round of the playoffs. Two are just two rounds from a state tournament berth.
"We had a good district," Jenkins said. "Nacogdoches was good. Jacksonville was better than they've been in the past. Everybody had to compete. You had compete every day. We ended up getting fourth. We lost by four runs, we lost in extra innings, we lost by one at Lufkin. I mean, everybody was so close.
"You knew you were as good as anybody if you started doing some things at the plate. Taking a few walks, getting hit by a pitch and doing the things we normally do."
Whitehouse 2, Corsicana 0
Class 5A Region II Regional Quarterfinals, One-Game Series
At Corsicana High School
Whitehouse 000 101 0 -- 2 4 0
Corsicana 000 000 0 -- 0 2 1
Pitchers and catchers
- Whitehouse: Ryan Walls and Connor Clark
- Corsicana: Corbin Hall and Dawson Woods
WP -- Walls
LP -- Hall
- Whitehouse: Mason House (solo)