By Reece Waddell , Staff Writer Contact Reece Waddellon Twitter:@reecetapout15
On April 12, the Plano baseball team was 4-7 in District 6-6A. Thanks to a big rally over the last three weeks, and after a big comeback Saturday, Plano is headed to the playoffs.
Plano rallied from an early 6-0 deficit and beat Allen 11-8 in the final game of the regular season to claim the fourth and final playoff berth in District 6-6A. It was the fifth straight win for Plano (20-8, 9-7), and the Wildcats beat Allen (14-14, 7-9) in back-to-back games Thursday and Saturday.
If Plano had lost Saturday, it would have finished in a three-way tie with Allen and Flower Mound Marcus (8-8 in district) for fourth place in 6-6A. The teams would have played a tournament to decide the final playoff spot, with Marcus receiving a bye because it had the best head-to-head record among the three teams.
Brett Hudspeth was 4 for 5 with three RBIs for Plano, Garrett Maas also had three RBIs, and A.J. Liu and Chris Cloud each scored three runs. Liu, Cloud and Hudspeth — the top three hitters in the Plano order — were a combined 9 for 14.
Allen scored four runs in first inning, then got a two-run home run from Cole Maxwell in the top of the third to build a 6-0 lead. Plano scored three runs in the third and two more in the fourth to cut the lead to 6-5. Then after Allen scored twice in the top of the fifth, Plano took the lead for good with five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
In the fifth, the Wildcats’ rally started with one-out RBI singles by Cloud and Hudspeth before Maas gave Plano a 9-8 lead with a two-run double. Gustavo Rodriguez drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk to make it 10-8.
Plano will open the playoffs against Keller.
Keller 3, Justin Northwest 0: Mason Whitmarsh allowed just two hits in six scoreless innings, and Baylor signee Shea Langeliers got the save by striking out all three hitters he faced as Keller (20-8-2, 11-3) clinched the District 5-6A title.
Oklahoma signee Brady Lindsly gave Keller a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fourth. Rice signee Bradley Gneiting followed with an RBI double.
Keller Fossil Ridge 8, Trophy Club Byron Nelson 5: Fossil Ridge scored four runs in the top of the seventh to win its regular-season finale and finish tied with Keller Timber Creek for second place in District 5-6A. Fossil Ridge (19-10, 10-4) and Timber Creek split their two district matchups.
Christian Mendez gave Fossil Ridge the lead in the seventh as three runs scored on his bases-loaded double. Dylan Neuse was 3 for 4 with a double and home run.
McKinney Boyd 9, Lewisville 3: Braxton Webb, Austin Long and Austin Molkeen combined on a two-hitter as McKinney Boyd claimed second place in District 6-6A. Boyd finished one game ahead of Flower Mound, which lost 8-7 to Plano East.