SANGER — The Sanger Indians almost gave away their District 9-3A home opener Tuesday night against rival Krum.
The Indians uncharacteristically let a four-run lead get away in the top of the sixth, committing three errors, before rallying for three runs in the bottom of the inning to come away with a 10-7 victory over the Bobcats. Anthony Escobedo pitched the top of the seventh, striking out two batters.
“You’re not going to see any game when this group gives up four runs in an inning,” said Sanger head coach Steve Ford, who watched his team commit five errors in the game, three in the sixth inning. “We’ve played good defense, been solid all season.”
But their defense did have a letdown just as the Indians appeared to be in control, leading 7-4, going into the sixth inning before Krum came away with four runs against Sanger’s third pitcher, Wilding Smith, capitalizing on three errors.
Krum’s Colten Graham reached on an infield single and scored when Karson Hughes singled to left and the ball got past Halen Frazier for a two-base error. Graham then scored when Brad Hull lifted a single to right. Hull advanced to third on a throwing error by Roy Hedgecock and scored on catcher Austen Lange’s throwing error on a dropped third strike. Michael Tanttari took second on the play and scored when an Brennan Ellis groundball scooted through the legs of first baseman Garret Koonce. That tied the score 7-7.
But Sanger came right back in the bottom half of the inning. Frazier reached on a throwing error by shortstop Colton Knerim and Ted Wisdom doubled. Smith followed with a hard grounder that hit the base umpire, allowing Frazier to score. With runners on the corners and one out, Smith went to second uncontested, and with the infield in, Kyle Link sent a single to right, scoring two runs.
Escobedo then came on to finish for the Indians (12-6-1, 2-0 district).
“We knew we could come back and score,” Ford said. “We’ve got that kind of experience and leadership. That’s who we are. They’re confident and they know they can hit the ball. That’s our fourth straight game scoring in double figures.”
Wisdom was the leader on Tuesday, going 3-for-4 with two triples, a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. Escobedo added three hits, including a double.
Krum (8-8-1, 1-2) showed great composure in coming back but simply could not shut down the Sanger hitters.
“Whoever plays them is going to have to find a way to get through the middle of their order,” Krum head coach Ray Miller said. “They’ve got kids who can swing the bat. I’m proud of our kids for competing for seven innings.”
Sanger struck in the bottom of the first. Escobedo hit the first pitch for a single up the middle, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on Widsom’s triple to the left-center gap.
Krum came back in the top of the second with three runs to gain a 3-1 advantage. Karson Hughes singled up the middle and Knerim was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on an error by starter Garrett McLeod on a pickoff attempt and scored on Hull’s single to right. With one out, Hull advanced on a sacrifice and scored when shortstop Wisdom threw in the dirt at first on a grounder by Brennan Ellis.
But the Indians countered with three runs in the bottom of the second to regain the lead at 4-3. Chance Cockrell hit a one-out single and scored on Escobedo’s double to right. Frazier singled, advanced to second uncontested, and Escobedo scored on a fielder’s choice by Wisdom, beating the throw home. Krum catcher Graham then threw to second, but second baseman Mason Lucas cut the throw and threw wide back to Graham, allowing Frazier to score.
The Indians increased their lead to 7-3 in the fourth behind another big hit from Wisdom. Escobedo and Frazier hit two-out singles and Wisdom followed with his second triple of the game, a two-run liner to left just out of the reach of outfielder Carter Strokes. Wisdom then scored when Smith walked and intentionally got caught in a rundown, allowing Wisdom to cross the plate.
Logan Looper, the senior right-hander, relieved in the third inning for Sanger and struck out five over three innings.
Sanger 10, Krum 7
W — Anthony Escobedo. L — Justan Bailey. 3B—S: Ted Wisdom (2). 2B — K: Brennan Ellis; S: Anthony Escobedo, Ted Wisdom.