MELISSA – Weather curtailed much of Melissa’s baseball tournament slated for March 12-14 at The Z-Plex Texas Sports Village. The Cards (12-2) got in two games on the first day of competition, romping to big wins over Class 4A Benbrook and Decatur, then were scheduled to face Argyle on Day 2. But the Class 4A Eagles pulled out and Decatur stepped up for a rematch with the Cards.
That morning game was canceled for storms before two-and-a-half innings were completed. The rest of Day 2’s games - and games on March 14 - were also canceled for forecast inclement weather.
Below are brief recaps of Melissa’s two-plus contest, in order.
Cards 14, Benbrook 4
Melissa run-ruled the Bobcats in four innings on March 12, led by Grayson Hurst’s 5-RBI, 3-for-3 turn at the plate and a bend-don’t-break performance from Tyler Womack on the mound. Hurst and Trevor Brooks each doubled for the Cards while Womack and Sam Crain slapped a triple apiece. Coy DeFury’s fourth-inning, lead-off solo home run gave Melissa a 10-4 lead. Elijah Jones went 2-for-3 with the bat, posting 3 RBIs for the Cards.
Womack spread five hits over the four innings, including two home runs, while striking out six and walking two. Only two of Benbrook’s runs were earned as the Cards were slowed by three errors.
Melissa struck for five runs in the first inning, four in the third and five more in the fourth – and out-hit the Bobcats, 11-5.
Cards 8, Decatur 0
Melissa starter Sam Crain stifled the Eagles with a 1-hit, six-inning shutout in the Cards’ second game on March 12. Crain struck out 11 and also hit his first career home run – a 3-run, first-inning shot that gave Melissa a 4-0 lead. Crain’s 3 RBIs led the team. He also retired the first nine batters he faced.
“He’s been amazing,” Cards head coach Jason Russell said the next day. “For a guy that’s been so talented for so long - and then the work he’s put in for this year - to see it right in front of everyone is just awesome. That’s why we do it. He’s out here he’s having a great time. It’s just fun seeing those type of kids see so much success.”
As for Decatur, “They’re really good,” Russell said. “They always are. We had a battle with them [in the Area playoffs] a few years ago, so we’ve known about them. They do a great job. … It was a really good team win.”
Melissa batters tallied six hits against two Eagles pitchers in this run-ruled victory.
Brooks’ line-drive double to center got the Cards on the board, 1-0, in the first frame, a hit soon followed by Crain’s dinger to left. Damon Youngblood belted a solo homer for the Cards in the fourth, a lead-off job to left, for Melissa’s 5-0 lead. After two more runs in the fifth - on a DeFury single, two walks and an error - Womack’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly to right scored Hurst to end the contest.
“We talk about, each and every year we’re going to pitch and play great defense,” Russell said. “And that’s what happened. The fun part of it is we’ve been extremely hot at the plate. You look around, Tyler Womack is as hot as I’ve seen him. Sam Crain is the same. You go down the list – Trevor Brooks, Coy DeFury, we have a lot of really talented hitters and they’re all really hot right now.”
Cards 3, Decatur 3
Heavy rains with lightning ended this one with the Eagles batting with 1 out in the top of the third frame. After waiting out the storm for a time, the decision was made to cancel and the teams loaded up and departed.
Melissa jumped out, 3-0, in the bottom of the first on back-to-back 2-out singles by Youngblood and Jayton Cepica. Decatur answered with three runs in the top of the second, boosted by a pair of doubles and a Cards error.
Melissa starter Hayden Schafer scattered five hits in 2.1 innings, striking out three and walking one. In two complete innings for the Eagles, Chase Oberle allowed three hits and logged three Ks with no walks.