Cards rout Gainesville, stay perfect in district


The Melissa Cardinals erupted for 20 hits on Friday in dispatching Gainesville, 18-7, in District 11-4A action at Gainesville. The win improved the first-place Cards’ district record to 4-0 and kept the Leopards winless. Melissa broke open a tight 6-6 game with four runs in the fourth and seven in the sixth to end this one an inning early, via run rule.


Tyler Womack blew up for two triples and a double for the Cards enroute to a 4-for-5 night with four RBI. Other Melissa leaders included Dillon Youngblood - 2-for-3 with two doubles, 2 RBI - and Coy DeFury - 3-for-4 with a double, 2 RBI. Additionally, Isaiah Segovia went 2-for-4 at the plate with a triple and 2 RBI, and Grayson Hurst posted an RBI-double.


Cards starter Sam Crain threw 2.1 innings, logging two strikeouts and two walks while allowing five hits and four earned runs. Kyle Leonard came on in the third and went 1.2 frames, permitting one hit, three walks and no runs while striking out two. Hurst pitched the final two innings and gave up one hit and one earned run, and recording three strikeouts and three walks.


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E


Melissa 0 6 0 4 1 7 X 18 20 1


Gainesville 1 3 2 0 1 0 X 7 7 3


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DeFury’s walk-off swing lifts Cards in 12th


MELISSA – On March 26, long after Collin County’s squirrels had bedded down for the evening and as a late-night spring chill settled onto the friendly confines of the Melissa Sports Facility, Melissa and Aubrey were still playing baseball. Certainly, when a district’s two frontrunners get together, one expects a good ball game - maybe even a thrilling finish. While this was all that, perhaps few foresaw the 12-inning, 3.5-hour epic that unfolded – a marathon smacked to conclusion by freshman Coy DeFury, whose single down the left field line drove home Tyler Womack for a dramatic 2-1 Cards victory.


“This is not the way I had this thing envisioned in my mind,” Melissa head coach Jason Russell said as The Tonight Show entered its second half-hour. “I stay up at night and I run through all these different scenarios. And in my wildest dreams - this doesn’t pop up.”


Said Aubrey head coach Nathan Henry, “It was a great baseball game, a good game to be a part of. It was a good atmosphere, just two good teams battling it out right there.”


The long-awaited result this night left Melissa alone atop District 11-4A with a 3-0 mark and the Chaps tied for second with Sanger and Celina.


Womack had reached base in the twelfth with a lead off single to right and made it to second on Grayson Hurst’s sacrifice bunt. Trevor Brooks followed with a ground-out to short, sending Womack to third where he perched until DeFury delivered the goods three pitches later.


Four Melissa pitchers combined to cage the big-hitting Chaps. Starter Kayden Benedetto worked three innings, posting five strikeouts and four walks while permitting three hits and one earned run. Kyle Leonard took over in the fourth and allowed one hit and no runs with two strikeouts over two frames. In the sixth, Hayden Schafer came on for another long relief stint - this time five shutout innings - and posted five strikeouts and three walks while permitting three hits. Hurst blanked Aubrey in the eleventh and twelfth, striking out three with no walks.


“We had to go a different route in our pitching rotation,” Russell said, “ … but hey, what can you say about those guys? They struck out 15 kids. [Aubrey] is a really good team. They swing the bats really, really well. I’m proud of our pitching staff, how they kept them off balance and held them to one run.


“Obviously, the pitching was really good but when you throw strikes and you’re pounding the zone that’s when your defense shows up more often than not. That’s what happened tonight.”


Indeed, winning a 2-1 game requires some defensive gems and Melissa had plenty, including:


-Isaiah Segovia’s laser throw from deep in the hole at shortstop for a sixth-inning out


-Dillon Youngblood’s diving stop of a single to left, then coming up firing to second where Womack made a diving tag of the runner, ending Aubrey’s sixth


-Catcher Brooks’ fourth-inning throw behind a runner at second, starting a pick-off play that got him at third


-Brooks’ catch of a stratospheric foul ball at the net, ending Aubrey’s fifth


-Shafer working out of a 2-on, 2-out jam in seventh with a fly ball to Womack


DeFury went 4-for-6 at the plate, with two doubles and 2 RBI, while Womack went 4-for-5. Sam Crain, pinch-hitting for Hurst in the seventh, nearly ended the contest than when he blasted a two-out, 3-2 pitch to the wall in left for a triple. A double play had snagged Youngblood at third base moments earlier or this one was over. Crain would be stranded on a fly ball out to center field.


As for DeFury’s two-out game-winner, Russell said, “He was on fire tonight. For a freshman to come up in those situations, time after time, and come through in the clutch, it tells you about his makeup and what kind of player he is - and is going to be.”


Melissa outhit the Chaps, 14-7, leaving plenty of runners on base, but this night just enough of them came home.


The Cards’ other run came in the first inning on a DeFury double to left that scored Hurst. Aubrey tied it in the third on a Jaxson Holder first-pitch homer to right. From there, goose eggs ruled until the fateful twelfth.


As fans headed for home - some winners, some not — with visions of slumber or tea that was hot, those not yet dozing or barely with sight could hear Duke exclaim, “Safe travels to all and to all a Good Night!”


Duke Sparks is Director of Athletic Operations and Community Partnerships for Melissa ISD - and was there till the end!


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E


Aubrey 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 1


Melissa 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 14 1


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