Comeback Cats: Plano scores four unanswered to edge Boyd, clinch share of 10-5A title

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McKINNEY – The McKinney Boyd baseball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to Friday night’s meeting against Plano Senior.

The Wildcats couldn’t have asked for a better finish, rifling off four unanswered runs over the final four innings for a 5-4 victory that clinched at least a share of the District 10-5A Championship for Plano.

We’ve shared it or won [the district title] four years in a row. The first goal was to get in (the playoffs) and the second goal was to get the district championship. Four is a big thing for these kids.”

“We’ve shared it or won [the district title] four years in a row,” said Rick Robertson, Plano head coach. “The first goal was to get in (the playoffs) and the second goal was to get the district championship. Four is a big thing for these kids.”

Several of those players have been along for three of those titles, such as juniors Cody Farhat, Mitchell Hansen and senior Ryan Robertson. However, it was a couple of those players enjoying district title No. 1 that lent a helping hand in Friday’s victory.

Someone like sophomore Quinn Waterbury, who belted an RBI single up the gut to score senior J.D. Kaufman and nudge the Wildcats in front, 5-4, in the sixth inning.

Waterbury’s hit capped a four-run rally by Plano, which fell behind 4-1 in the third inning after a solo home run by Boyd senior Francisco DeJesus. One inning earlier, Plano senior Michael Davis, another first-year starter, launched a homer of his own to put the Wildcats on the board.

Plano fed off that bomb with runs in each of the next three innings to chip away at the Broncos’ lead. Hansen tripled in the fourth frame and scored one batter later, and Farhat plated junior Austin Toups and Kaufman in the fifth inning to tie the game at 4-4.

“The most important thing is that we settled down, continued to play defense and we finally got some hits,” coach Robertson said.

If only the same could be said for Boyd.

What could have been a springboard to seize control for good, DeJesus’ homer was actually the last hit the Broncos would muster all night off Plano senior Kenneth Tabor.

“I was a little surprised,” said Brooke Court, Boyd head coach, of his team’s inability to build off the DeJesus home run. “We didn’t really adjust to what Tabor was throwing to us and he adjusted to our hitters. We need to do a better job at that.”

Instead, the Broncos were at the mercy of the Wildcats’ ace, who retired the final 14 hitters he faced on Friday. Overall, Tabor logged a complete game, yielding four runs on five hits along with seven strikeouts and one walk.

“Kenneth was just lights out,” coach Robertson said. “After we got that run to go up, you could tell he was just smelling it. He went out and pitched great. I’m really proud of him. He’s tough.”

Three of those runs came in the first inning when the Broncos jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a trio of precise hits by juniors Tommy Nawa, Will Hollis and sophomore Grant Restmeyer.

“I thought we had good at-bats,” Court said. “We didn’t necessarily hit it hard, but we placed it pretty good.”

Eerily enough, Boyd began its last home outing against Plano in similar fashion, opening the game with a 3-0 advantage that held for a 5-3 victory.

The Wildcats flipped the script on the Broncos Friday, however, and ascended to the 10-5A mountaintop once again because of it.

Plano returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in its home finale against Plano East, while the Broncos look to rebound that same time at Allen.