WYLIE – A pair of standout pitching performances by the Crandall Pirates proved too much for the Anna Coyotes to overcome in a Class 4A Region II bi-district series at Wylie High School.


Crandall won a classic pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in the opener on Thursday, May 3, before advancing with a 5-1 victory in Game 2 on Friday, May 4. The Pirates will face Krum in the area round this week.


Anna (17-12) had four hits in each contest and in Game 2 fell behind 2-0 after Crandall got things going in the top of the first.


But the Coyotes were able to immediately answer in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally. Rawley Hector doubled to right and Zach Howard doubled to left as Anna scored its only run.


Crandall made it 3-1 in the second with two outs. Singles sandwiched around the outs put runners on the corners and a double steal led to the run.


The Pirates took a 4-1 lead in the fourth – again with two outs – on a walk, steal and single. Crandall added some insurance in the seventh following a leadoff triple with a groundout.


After the opening-inning run, Anna struggled to string anything together and finished with 16 strikeouts. Colton Brown singled to lead off the second and Jacob Odom walked with two outs but it was two innings before Odom reached on a dropped third strike for the next Coyote base runner.


Jacob Williams walked with one out in the seventh.


In the series opener, Howard was the hard-luck loser when Crandall earned the walk-off victory with the only run of the game. After a leadoff walk and a sacrifice, an error allowed the Pirates to escape with the win.


Howard allowed an unearned run on three hits. He walked two and did not strike out a batter.


Jaden Adams was the first base runner of the night when he singled to left with two outs in the top of the third for Anna.


Crandall had back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the inning but a bunt back to Howard allowed him to get the lead runner at third. A pop out and groundout kept the Pirates off the scoreboard.


Williams singled to center with one out in the fifth and moved up on Mason Simmons’ groundout to second but was stranded in scoring position.


Hector singled to right with one out in the sixth and Howard singled to left with two outs but the game remained scoreless.


Howard retired 10 straight Pirates before a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth was followed by a walk. Two straight pop ups followed and eventually set up the dramatic finish by Crandall when Anna went into order in the top of the seventh.