After dropping their season-opener to HSAA, the Melissa Cardinals rebounded for a 4-1 showing in tournament action Feb. 27-29 at The Z-Plex in Melissa.


Below are brief recaps from those games.


The Cards open district play March 24 at Anna.


HSAA 3, Cards 0


The Home School Athletic Association’s Red team popped for three seventh-inning runs in its shut-out win over Melissa Feb. 25. HSAA pitchers David Carr and John Fusselman combined to allow one hit while striking out nine, with Carr going the first five frames. Cards starter Sam Crain tossed three innings of 1-hit ball and struck out six. Grayson Hurst came on the fourth for two innings and allowed no hits while striking out six. Hayden Schafer worked the sixth and seventh inning, giving up four hits and one earned run. A seventh-inning Melissa error aided HSAA’s late push.


Cards 8, Hillcrest 0


Schafer went 2-for-2 at the plate for 3 RBIs in Melissa’s run-rule shut-out victory over Class 4A Dallas Hillcrest Feb. 27. Tyler Womack also took a 2-for-2 turn at the plate with 2 RBIs, including a solo homer in the fifth. Trevor Brooks and Schafer posted doubles and Carlos Pirela belted a triple for the Cards. Melissa led, 4-0, after one inning.


Starter Hurst struck out six and walked three while allowing three hits in his four innings on the mound. Mason Perkins struck out one and permitted no hits in closing out the final frame.


Cards 10, Lovejoy 0


In another run-rule shortened contest Feb. 28, Melissa romped past Class 5A Lovejoy with an 11-hit barrage and a four-inning, 1-hit performance by starting pitcher Schafer. Brooks swatted two doubles for Melissa for a team-high 4 RBIs while Coy DeFury logged an RBI-double as well. Damon Youngblood went 2-for-2 at the plate with a lead-off triple in the fourth inning.


Cards 7, Poteet 6


Melissa built a 5-0 lead then held off Class 5A Mesquite Poteet for the victory Feb. 28. Brooks’ fifth-inning RBI-triple broke a 5-5 tie and Schafer followed with a single to center for a 7-5 Cards lead. Poteet got one back in the sixth and time expired with Melissa batting in the bottom of the frame.


Brooks went 2-for-3 with the bat for 3 RBIs, also clubbing a 2-run homer in the third. DeFury went 2-for-2 with a triple and Youngblood’s bases-loaded double in the first inning emptied the bases.


Starter Crain got the win, striking out eight in five innings of work while permitting five hits and three earned runs. Womack collected the final three outs, posting a strikeout and allowing one hit and one earned run.


Royse City 6, Cards 4


Class 5A Royse City’s six-run third inning was enough to get by Melissa Feb. 29. The Cards led 3-0 when Royse City flipped the game in the third with a double and two singles. Two Melissa errors and a hit batsman also aided the Bulldogs’ big half-inning.


Starter Pirela went four innings for the Cards, allowing four hits and three earned runs while striking out three and walking three. Womack pitched the final two frames, logging two strikeouts and giving up one hit. Womack’s solo home run to left gave Melissa a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Hurst bagged an RBI-double in the second. The Cards outhit Royse City, 6-5.


Cards 10, WT White 1


Melissa rolled to 10 hits while Womack and Perkins combined for a 1-hitter as the Cards run-ruled the Class 6A Longhorns Feb. 29.


Pirela, Crain, Hurst and Jayton Cepica all smacked doubles, with Pirela going 2-for-3 with a team-high 3 RBIs. Cepica also went 2-for-3 at the plate. WT White led, 1-0, after one inning but the Cards exploded for eight runs in the fourth. In that frame, Hurst and Pirela slapped back-to-back doubles for a 5-1 Melissa lead. Closing out the Cards’ big surge would be two walked-in runs and RBI singles by Cepica, Schafer and Caleb Zschau.