Aubrey rolled to seven first-inning runs then cruised to a 9-4 win over Melissa in a crucial District 11-4A showdown April 16 in Aubrey. Melissa entered the contest in a three-way tie with Sanger and Aubrey for the district’s top spot.

With the loss, the Cards fell into second place with a 5-3 mark with two regular-season games remaining.

Pitcher Sam Crain went the whole way for Melissa, permitting five hits while striking out six and walking five. The Cards’ defense committed five errors on the night, including two in the first frame. Jayton Cepica led Melissa batters with a 2-for-3 night at the plate and an RBI.

Chaparrals starter Zak Taylor worked six innings, striking out eight and walking three, and allowing five hits with two earned runs. Derek Miller worked the final three outs, permitting one hit with three strikeouts and three walks.

Melissa got one run back in its half of the first, then posted one in the second and two in the seventh.

Hayden Schafer led off the Cards’ second with a single to right and Sean Turnage followed with a walk. Then with two outs, Tyler Womack slapped an RBI-single to center field for Melissa’s first run. The Cards’ third-inning run came after singles by Trevor Brooks and Cepica put runners at the corners with one out. Schafer then hit into a fielder’s choice at third, scoring courtesy-runner Kyle Leonard and Melissa trailed, 7-2.

Aubrey boosted its lead to 9-2 with lone runs in the fifth and sixth frames before the Cards struck for two in their last at-bat. After getting two aboard via walks in Melissa’s seventh, Womack scored on a passed ball to get the Cards within 9-3. Cepica’s single to right brought home Grayson Hurst to close out the scoring.