PROSPER — Sanger had no problem scoring runs Saturday and carried a seven-run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. Yet all eyes were on Bonham, which proved all day that perhaps no lead was safe.
The Indians managed to stonewall Bonham in that final half-inning to preserve a 19-12 win, putting an end to a wild Game 2 in which the teams combined for 30 hits — 12 for extra bases — and seven errors in a Class 3A Region II area series.
“That’s the nature of high school baseball — in a shootout like this you’d better be ready, because that’s a good [Bonham] team over there,” said Sanger coach Steve Ford, whose team won 4-3 in Game 1 on Friday. “I wish my defense had played better, but I was never concerned because this group can score runs.”
Sanger (24-6-1) needed a five-run fifth inning and two runs in the sixth to outlast the Warriors, who rallied from an early eight-run hole to tie the game at 12 in the bottom of the fourth. Bonham (14-12-1) loaded the bases an inning later but couldn't score as the Indians pitched a shutout the rest of the way.
Sanger advances to play Argyle (25-7-1) in the regional quarterfinals this week at Ponder. The opener is slated for 8 p.m. Friday, with Game 2 set for noon Saturday. If needed, Game 3 will follow.
After scoring four runs in the series opener, Sanger put just as many on the board in the top of the first inning of Game 2 and exploded for six in the second for a 10-2 lead. Yet the Warriors — who had two hits Friday — wouldn't go away.
Bonham plated five runs in its half of the second to cut the deficit to three. The surge included a double from Nathan Butcher, who scored on a triple from Chase Bardwell. After a Sanger error led to another run, Clay Clemons’ RBI single cut the Sanger lead to five and chased starting pitcher Logan Looper. Three batters later, Kendall Kennedy ripped a two-run double.
Sanger added two runs in the third on RBI singles by Halen Frazier and Ted Wisdom for a 12-7 lead, but the Warriors rallied with five runs to tie the game in the fourth. Sanger committed two errors in that inning, including one that led to the tying run.
“You never want to get into a slugfest with Sanger, but our kids battled,” Bonham coach Ryan Prock said.
That’s when Sanger took over.
Anthony Escobedo tripled and Frazier walked with one out to put runners on first and third in the top of the fifth. Wisdom then drew a walk, which would have loaded the bases, but a passed ball allowed Escobedo to score the go-ahead run.
A sacrifice fly from Wilding Smith gave Sanger a two-run lead. Two batters later, Kyle Link doubled to drive in two more runs. The Indians added another run off a Bonham error for a 17-12 lead. Escobedo tripled again in the top of the sixth to give his team a six-run cushion, and Wisdom added an RBI single.
Sanger 19, Bonham 12
WP — Roy Hedgecock. LP — Tristan Hunt. HR — S: Austen Lange. 3B — S: Anthony Escobedo (2). B: Chase Bardwell. 2B — S: Wilding Smith, Chance Cockrell, Kyle Link. B: Kendall Kennedy (2), Tristan Hunt, Nathan Butcher, Greg Moses. Records — Sanger 24-6-1; Bonham 14-12-1.