Trophy Club Nelson jumped out to an early lead on Guyer starting pitcher Daulton Horton in Friday’s pivotal District 5-4A matchup at Guyer, but it didn’t last for long.
The Wildcats scored two runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by a monster home run 30 feet up the hill beyond the left-center field fence by James Farris, and Daulton Horton escaped a fourth-inning jam to put Guyer in a tie for second place with a 6-2 win over the Bobcats.
“Other teams are going to score,” Guyer head coach Johnny Kinzy said. “It’s a momentum thing after that. If they score and get the lead, we have to answer. That [home run] was huge right there. He got a good pitch he could handle, and he ran into it.”
Horton threw 94 pitches and got himself out of some trouble in the fourth inning with his team nursing a 3-1 lead.
Horton allowed a leadoff walk and then gave up consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. He then induced three straight fly outs to center fielder Brandon Hendricks, one of which scored a run, to get out of the inning with just one run of damage.
“They get a couple of guys on with a perfect bunt and all we had to do was eliminate a big inning,” Kinzy said. “One run isn’t going to kill us there. We worked out of it only giving up one and that was the difference in the game right there.”
Horton finished with seven strikeouts and allowed six hits for the complete-game victory that puts the Wildcats (12-10, 7-3 district) in a second-place tie with Lake Dallas. Horton was perfect over the final three innings.
Nelson’s Alex Johnston allowed seven hits in six innings, as Guyer put up runs on the Bobcats (12-10, 6-4) in four of the six innings in which it batted. Five Wildcats drove in runs.
Kinzy praised his team for getting hits at clutch moments, something he said they hadn’t done in the previous two games — losses to Azle and Denton.
“Daulton pitched extremely well and we played really good defense behind him,” Kinzy said. “The difference between today and last two games was we got men on base and had clutch hits with two outs and clutch hits with two strikes.”
Next up for Guyer is a matchup at Lake Dallas on Tuesday. Guyer won the previous meeting 5-4 on March 18. The winner will be alone in second place in 5-4A behind first-place Wichita Falls.
“It’ll be a great atmosphere,” Kinzy said. “Being that close to each other, the kids know each other and they’ve played with each other. [Lake Dallas head coach John] Tompkins does a great job over there, and his kids will be ready to win a game. There’s 14 district games, though; we just know we play to win each one. You don’t get brownie points for beating certain teams. Our approach is the same.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.
Guyer 6, Trophy Club Nelson 2
WP — Daulton Horton. LP — Alex Johnston. 2B — N: Kevin Lentzner. G: Aaron Studdard, Riley Wilhoit. HR — G: James Farris. Records — Trophy Club Nelson (12-10, 6-4). Guyer (12-10, 7-3).