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Kingwood Wins 3-1 on Senior Night

By Jason Hebert, 04/15/22, 10:15AM CDT

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Kingwood Mustangs 3, Humble Wildcats 1 - April 14 @ Andy Wells Field

The Mustangs finished their two game series with the Wildcats Thursday night at Andy Wells Field on Senior Night 2022.  Twelve total seniors were introduced in the pregame ceremony and family members threw out the first pitches.

Once the game got under way, Senior Ryan McClish started for the Mustangs.  McClish wasted little time, retiring the Wildcats in order with two strikeouts and a groundout to third.  Senior Jack Bruckbauer got things going with  an infield single to shortstop before Senior Paxton Singleton did the same.  With runners on first and second, the two completed a double steal to put both in scoring position.  McClish's groundout to short scored Bruckbauer with the first run of the game, giving the Mustangs a 1-0 lead after one.

Humble struck for a pair of singles sandwiched around three more strikeouts in the inning for McClish.  Senior River Smith led off the Kingwood second with a double off the left field wall.  He moved to third on an errant pickoff throw by the pitcher and was able to score on the play.  Senior Riley Chandler reached on an error by the shortstop and quickly stole second.  He then stole third base as well but was stranded there as Kingwood settled for one run to increase the lead to 2-0.

McClish continued to make quick work of the overmatched Wildcats hitters, posting another three up, three down inning and two more strikeouts.  Other than Singleton's second base hit of the night, this one a single up the middle, and his steal of second, the Mustangs went quietly in the bottom half of the third.

Humble did manage a baserunner in the fourth on a walk.  Any hopes of a rally ended on a ground ball to Smith at third.  His throw to first was on time and Singleton's return throw to third base retired the runner as they attempted to advance.    Senior Luke Whitley walked and stole second.  Senior Ashton Rodriguez singled to center, scoring Whitley to bump the lead to three.  Rodriguez stole second and moved to third on the catcher's throwing error but was stranded there to keep the score at 3-0.

A pop up to third and two more strikeouts was all Humble could muster in the top of the fifth as McClish continued to roll.  Bruckbauer lined a single up the middle for a leadoff hit in the bottom half.  After Bruckbauer stole second, Senior Micah Vinson pinch hit  and reached on an error by the third baseman putting runners on the corners.  Unfortunately a steal of home was unsuccessful and the Mustangs settled for the 3-0 lead.

There was more of the same in the sixth for Humble as McClish sandwiched a groundout to short around two more strikeouts.  Senior Presley Casares pinch hit but was called out on a questionable strike to lead off the inning.  Whitley singled to right and stole second but that was all Kingwood could put together.

Down to their last at bat, the Wildcats had a runner reach on an infield single deep in the hole at short despite a fantastic effort by Rodriguez to just miss getting him at first.  The runner moved to second on a passed ball before a walk put two runners on.  A fielding error allowed the next hitter to reach and plate the first run of the night for Humble, closing the gap to 3-1.  Another passed ball put two runners in scoring position and the tying run at second before McClish finished his big time performance by ending the game with two more strikeouts.

McClish finished with 14 strikeouts on the night and moved to 5-3 on the season and 3-2 in district.  Ward racked up two strikeouts in his only inning of work, gathering his first save of the season.

The Mustangs have their District 21-6a bye week and will next face non-district foe Deer Park Friday night at 6pm in Deer Park.

Kingwood Varsity Mustangs
Overall record:  16-9
District record:     5-5