ANNA – The Melissa Cardinals opened the playoffs with a pair of strong pitching and hitting performances that propelled them to the next round after sweeping Caddo Mills, 7-2 and 12-0, in a Class 4A Region II bi-district matchup.
Melissa (24-9) will face Sanger in the area round this week in a series at Prosper. Game 1 is Friday, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Game 2 is Saturday, May 12, at 11 a.m. A third game, if necessary, would immediately follow
The Cardinals closed out the series against the Foxes with a blowout victory, pulling away with five runs in the fifth and seventh innings at Anna on Saturday, May 5.
Bobby Houston was 2-for-3 and drove in four runs and scored twice, Isaiah Segovia drove in four runs, Adam Davis was 2-for-4 with a double, drove in a run and scored, Tyler Womack doubled and scored twice, Brady Morrison walked three times and scored and Sean Turnage was 2-for-4 and scored.
Krisjon Segleski allowed just two hits with five strikeouts and two walks in the shutout effort.
The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth when Trevor Brooks, Houston and Tate Whittington walked to load the bases before the lead two runners came around on Segovia’s fielder’s choice to second.
Both of Segleski’s walks came in the first three innings. He allowed his first hit with one out in the fourth inning and Caddo Mills had runners at the corners following a two-out error before an inning-ending groundout. The Foxes had a leadoff double in the sixth for their only other baserunner the rest of the day.
Melissa pushed its lead to 7-0 in the fifth with a two-out rally. Womack got it started with a double to left and Davis drove him in with a single. Morrison walked and Turnage singled to lead the bases.
Andrew Cole was hit by a pitch and Brooks walked to force in runs and then Houston had a two-run single to right.
In the seventh, Dillon Youngblood walked and Brooks was hit by a pitch before Houston’s two-run single. Two batters later Segovia drove in two with a hit to center to make it 11-0 and there still wasn’t an out in the inning.
The Cardinals batted around, loading the bases again and scoring their final run when Youngblood was hit by a pitch.
Melissa opened the series with a 7-2 home victory on Thursday, May 3. Morrison was 2-for-4 with a double, drove in a run and scored twice, Womack homered and scored three times, Houston was 2-for-2 and drove in a run, Whittington drove in two runs and Davis doubled, drove in a run and scored.
Womack tied the game with his two-out solo homer in the bottom of the first and Melissa took a 2-1 advantage in the second when Morrison doubled, Turnage was hit by a pitch and Houston had a two-out walk before Whittington walked to force in a run. A potentially bigger inning was thwarted when the final out was Turnage getting picked off third.
Cole scattered five hits and a walk to go with four strikeouts. Caddo Mills scored in the top of the first and then tied the game at two with a two-out home run in the third before Melissa scored in the bottom of the inning.
After Cole got the lead back, he allowed only one runner in scoring position over the final four innings – in the sixth a one-out walk and single set up Caddo Mills only for one runner to get picked off before a flyout to right.
The Cardinals went in front to stay on Morrison’s two-out single to center. Womack was hit by a pitch with one out, took second on a wild pitch and then third on a dropped third strike.
A leadoff error in the fifth preceded Davis’ RBI double to center that gave Melissa 4-2 lead and the Cardinals loaded the bases again and Cole forced in a run when he was hit by a pitch.
Houston had an RBI single with one out and Whittington was hit by a pitch to plate what turned out to be the final run as the Cardinals built a five-run lead.