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Mustangs Keep Playoff Hopes Alive, Wallop Wildcats 14-1

By Jason Hebert, 04/13/22, 9:45PM CDT

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Kingwood Mustangs 14, Humble Wildcats 1 - April 12 @ Sitton Field

To keep playoff hopes alive, the Mustangs were looking to break a four game losing streak in District play as they took the field on a very windy night in Humble.  The team fielded a Senior dominated lineup in advance of Thursday night's  Senior Night at Kingwood.

With one out in the first, Jack Bruckbauer dropped down a bunt single down the third base line to get things started.  After he stole second, Paxton Singleton was hit by a pitch.  Ryan McClish was up when the two completed a double steal, putting two runners in scoring position.  McClish followed with a two RBI double to left centerfield to give Kingwood an early lead.  Matt DeLeon then doubled to right center to plate McClish and increase the lead to 3-0.  A River Smith single to left and a fielding error let DeLeon cross the plate Luke Whitley was the second batter of the inning to be hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.  After Smith stole third, Liam O'Leary lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Smith and move the lead to 5.  Whitley stole second before Ashton Rodriguez walked.  Another double steal again put two runners in scoring position before Arney knocked both in with a two out, two RBI double to the left field wall.  Plating the final runs in the top of the first gave the Mustangs a touchdown lead out of the gate at 7-0.

Starter Josh Pelfrey had little trouble in the home half as he induced two ground balls to Rodriguez at short and a fly ball to Singleton in rightfield.

Humble's early pitching change worked as Kingwood could only manage a DeLeon walk in the second inning.  Pelfrey made quick work of the Wildcats again though with three more groundouts to keep the score at 7-0.

The game was interrupted in between innings when the stadium lights went out.  Rumor has it the Mustangs may have won the dance off contest while both teams gathered near first base in the darkened infield.

Once play resumed, O'Leary singled to center to open the visitor half of the third.  Ty Boatright then entered as a courtesy runner, stealing second base before Rodriguez walked for the second time in the game.  Bruckbauer reach first on a ball the pitcher wasn't able to field to load the bases.  Unfortunately, the runners were stranded with consecutive infield pop ups.  Humble did finally break into the hit column with a wind-aided double off the leftfield wall.  However, O'Leary was able to eliminate the baserunner as he tried to take third on a ball that was in the dirt/turf.

DeLeon walked again to open the fourth, as did Whitley.  O'Leary was hit by a pitch (and run for by Boatright) to load the bases.  A nice play by the Wildcats third baseman cut down a run at the plate on a groundout but back to back walks by Jason Arney and Bruckbauer allowed Whitley and Boatright to score to push the lead to 9-0.  The Wildcats scratched their first run thanks to an error and a ball that got over the centerfielder to put runners on second and third.  A fielder's choice allowed the Mustangs to get the runner moving to third but a run did score on the play.  Rodriguez made the play of the night soon after as he made a diving stop on a ball headed to center, fed Arney for the force at second and the throw to first completed the fantastic double play to retire the side with Kingwood up 9-1.

DeLeon's third walk of the night was the only highlight of the fifth inning for the Mustangs.  Pelfrey continued along with another three up, three down inning, notching his first strikeout along the way.

Whitley opened the sixth with a single off the pitcher's glove and moved to second on a passed ball.  Rodriguez walked for the third time, matching DeLeon for free passes on the evening.  Yet another double steal preceded Arney's sac fly to center to score Whitley and give the Mustangs their 10th run of the contest.  During Bruckbauer's at bat that resulted in a walk, Rodriguez stole home to give Kingwood a ten run lead.  Singleton was hit by a pitch for the second time to put runners at first and second.  McClish singled to left to score Bruckbauer.  DeLeon reached on an infield single and Smith walked to force in Singleton with the Mustangs 13th run.  Whitley walked to force in McClish and plate the final run of the evening.  Humble threatened to score again in their sixth with two singles to open the inning.  But Pelfrey got a pop up to Smith at third and a fielder's choice (shortstop to second) force out.  On the play however, the umpire ruled runner interference at second to end the game in a double play.  The final score was Kingwood 14, Humble 1.

Pelfrey finished with one strikeout and moved to 5-2 on the season and 2-2 in district. 

The Mustangs will again face Humble Thursday night in Kingwood on Senior Night at Andy Wells Field.

Kingwood Varsity Mustangs
Overall record:  15-9
District record:     4-5