Woodland senior Ben Ammons was unable to avoid being hit by a pitch in Wednesday’s home game against Kell. The Wildcats defeated the Longhorns, 3-2, with a two-run, walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh. RANDY PARKER/THE DAILY TRIBUNE NEWS
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2019 STAFF REPORT
Since becoming Region 7-AAAAA rivals in 2017, the Woodland baseball team has had Kell’s number more often than not. The Wildcats split with the Longhorns that first season before sweeping them last year to keep Kell from reaching the playoffs.
Last year, the sweep helped Woodland come within a hair of reaching the postseason itself. And while that ship has sailed on this campaign, the Wildcats’ 3-2, walk-off win Wednesday at home allowed them to play spoiler once again.
Facing a 2-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh, despite senior Koby Stansel limiting Kell to one hit, Woodland loaded the bases with no outs. Dallas Adams reached on an error; Marco Haro lined a double; and Stansel walked to put ducks on the pond for Zach Wilson.
On the seventh pitch of his at-bat, Wilson dropped a hit into right field, scoring Adams and Haro for the thrilling, come-from-behind victory.
After Woodland (11-15, 7-8) left the bases loaded in the first inning, Kell took the lead in its next turn at bat. An error, a single and a walk filled the bags before another error let the game’s first run score.
The Wildcats, though, evened things up in the third. Bailey Ward led off the frame with a single; Haro walked; and Wilson drove home courtesy-runner Lane Hutson.
Parity was short-lived, as the Longhorns benefited from a hit batsman, a walk and a two-out error to regain the lead in the fourth.
Kell escaped another bases-loaded situation in the fifth inning, but the third time was the charm for the Woodland offense, earning a walk-off win in its final home game of the season.
Wilson finished 2-for-3 with all three RBIs; Adams also had two hits, while scoring once; and Haro went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. Ward had Woodland’s other hit.
Stansel allowed two unearned runs on four walks but just the one hit, while striking out five over a complete-game effort. He needed just 99 pitches to effectively shut down the No. 1 team in the region, entering the day.
Following the loss, the Longhorns will enter the final day of the regular season in a four-way tie for first place. Kell, East Paulding, Carrollton and Rome all sit at 12-3 in the region.
Woodland will look to be a further thorn in Kell’s side and ruin its chances of earning the region title, when the two teams meet in Marietta at 5:55 p.m. Friday.