PROSPER — Sanger coach Steve Ford insists he is at total peace when his closer is on the mound in a tight game. Everything up to that point, though, is a little too close for comfort.
In a game where the Indians squandered a one-run lead but rallied back with Roy Hedgecock’s two-run, two-out single in the bottom of the sixth, Ford got closer Anthony Escobedo in for the seventh inning to secure a 4-3 win over Bonham in Game 1 of a Class 3A Region II area round series at Prosper.
The series continues with Game 2 today at noon. If needed, a decisive third game will immediately follow.
“I was pretty uncomfortable [at first],” Ford said. “We have weapons up and down the lineup, but when we are down, it gets a little interesting. They [Bonham] did an outstanding job and scouted us well, so this will be a good series. We just need to make our adjustments; I expect us to play better on offense.”
Sanger (23-6-1) scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first inning, but was held to just one hit over the next four innings while the Warriors (14-11) pulled to within a run in the fourth. Bonham took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth off a wild pitch and sacrifice fly.
Ted Wisdom led off the Indians’ sixth with a double, and a walk to Wilding Smith one batter later seemed to breath new life into the Sanger offense. Bonham starter Cole Sparks got the next two batters to fly out, but Hedgecock looped a single to center field to put Sanger in front for good.
“Roy is the ultimate ballplayer for us,” Ford said. “He’s our utility player and played about four or five different positions for us. At the plate, his two-strike approach ... he does it better than anyone and tonight he put the bat on it.”
Sanger scored 27 runs to sweep its first-round series with Aubrey, but with the offense unable to figure out Sparks on Friday, the Indians relied heavily on starting pitcher Ross Scott to keep the game close. Scott allowed just two hits in six innings of work despite his defense committing two errors.
He held his own until Bonham’s Tristan Scott led off the sixth with an infield single that initially deflected off Scott’s leg at the mound. Two batters later Scott walked Kendall Kennedy and hit Sparks to load the bases with one out. Bonham tied the game on a wild pitch, then got its sacrifice fly from Clay Clemons for the short-lived lead.
Sanger 4, Bonham 3
WP — Ross Scott. LP — Cole Sparks. Save: Anthony Escobedo. 2B — B: Jared Prock. S: Ted Wisdom. Records — Sanger 23-6-1, Bonham 14-11.