It was exactly the type of game the Guyer Wildcats wanted going into the Class 4A state baseball playoffs.
On a day that began with four teams battling for three playoff spots on the final night of District 5-4A regular-season play, the Wildcats secured a playoff spot behind pitcher Jud Kinzy and a big five-run third inning, easing past Fort Worth Brewer 10-0 in five innings Friday night at Guyer.
The Wildcats (13-18, 9-5 district) entered the game in a three-way tie for second place with Azle and Trophy Club Nelson. All three teams won, setting up a two-game playoff today at Justin Northwest to determine seeding for next week’s bi-district round.
Azle and Nelson will square off at noon, with the winner taking on Guyer at 3 p.m. All three teams, along with district champion Wichita Falls Rider, will advance to the bi-district playoffs. The two games today will determine the 2-3-4 seeds for the first round.
Guyer head coach Johnny Kinzy said his team would approach today’s game like a playoff game even though no team will be eliminated. “It’s playoff baseball, and we want to go in there and make positive plays,” he said.
“The big thing we talked about was that we had our destiny in our own hands,” Kinzy added. “Our objective was to win and get in the playoffs and not wait and see what happened with everyone else. We did a good job of taking care of business.”
That was especially true of his son, Jud, the senior ace for the Wildcats, who allowed only one hit while striking out eight and walking one. The only hit he allowed was a two-out single to Mark Brown in the first inning.
“We came in with a mind-set of playing hard and being focused on the task at hand,” said Kinzy, who threw 77 pitches. “We feel like we’re in a good position, and we’re ready to go.”
Cole Wessling gave Guyer a quick 1-0 lead in the first, taking advantage of two of Brewer starter Dylan Vilaros’ three wild pitches in the inning. Wessling drew a one-out walk, advanced on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout by Reid Battles and scored on a wild pitch.
The Wildcats scored five runs in the third inning to essentially put the game away. Kinzy and Wessling singled, and Battles walked to load the bases with no outs against Vilaros.
Chris Monroe hit into a fielder’s choice that scored courtesy runner Kyle Walsh and forced Battles out at second. But the relay to first was high and Wesssling was able to score on the error. Monroe moved to second on a wild pitch, and Alex Ramirez was hit by a pitch. A balk moved the runners to second and third, and Domenic Pickering’s sacrifice fly off reliever Zack Walker scored Monroe to give Guyer a 4-0 lead.
Ramirez moved to third on the sac fly and later scored on a wild pitch. Daulton Horton walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch, and the Wildcats had all the runs they needed.
The Wildcats then run-ruled the Bears (11-17, 4-10) with four runs in the fifth, capped by Wessling’s two-run double. Zak Koehler and Kinzy also had RBI singles.
The only tough inning for Kinzy was in the fourth, when the Wildcats committed three errors. Brown led off by reaching on an error, but was picked off by Kinzy. With two outs, Dilon Scott and Kevin Leis each reached on errors, but Kinzy ended the inning by striking out Vilaros.
“We wanted to put the last week behind us,” said Wessling, referring to back-to-back losses to Wichita Falls and Wichita Falls Rider. “I think we’re starting to play our best baseball at the right time.”
GUYER 10, FORT WORTH BREWER 0
WP — Jud Kinzy. LP — Dylan Vilaros. 2B—G: Cole Wessling. Records — Guyer 13-18, 9-5; Brewer 11-17, 4-10.