Farmersville 5, Van Alstyne 4
The Farmersville baseball team, still smarting over a ninth-inning loss to the Panthers at their place on March 17, got some payback with a 5-4 win at Forrest Moore Park on April 11.
The win gives the Farmers a three-game lead over Van Alstyne in the District 10-3A baseball race, with just three games left on the schedule.
Van Alstyne sophomore pitcher Rhett Gallagher, who won the duel with Farmersville’s Lyle Hibbitts in the first encounter, scattered six hits over his six innings of work, but a walk and a Van Alstyne error set the table for a two-run, second inning for the visitors.
Van Alstyne bounced back in the bottom of the third to tie the contest, 2-2.
Junior Chase Wilson singled to center field and came around to score on a throwing error by Lyle Hibbits on a pickoff attempt at first base.
Gallagher walked and was subbed out for courtesy runner Zach Wright.
Wright advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and a Farmersville error, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Wilson to tie the game.
The Farmers had two runners on in the fourth, and two on in the fifth and sixth innings, but could not push across any runs.
The Panthers also had some scoring chances, especially in the sixth.
Hibbitts had retired eight straight Van Alstyne batters before a leadoff double by senior Luke Hundt opened the Panther sixth.
Wilson singled to left field, but Hundt could not advance on the Texas leaguer. He was picked off on a nice play by the Farmers and, after an intentional walk to Sam Tormos, Hibbitts got the final out to spoil that threat.
Gallagher went out for the seventh with 102 pitches in the book and he was on a short leash, up against the 110 allowable throws.
A Van Alstyne error and a single by Hibbitts put two on for the Farmers.
Junior Jordan Velekei came on in relief after Gallagher had to leave by rule, and the Panthers gave up three runs that gave the Farmers a 5-2 lead heading into the Panthers’ final turn at the plate.
Van Alstyne made it interesting in the seventh.
With rally caps and sunglasses in place, sophomore Chandler David reached on a Farmersville error.
With one out, Chase Wilson beat out an infield hit and a walk to Gallagher loaded the bases.
Another Farmersville miscue allowed David and Wilson to score, getting the Panthers to within one.
Hibbitts got the final two outs to hold on for the win, and drop the Panthers down another game in the playoff chase.
Van Alstyne will not play again until April 18 when it travels to Howe, then the final two games against Leonard and Commerce are at home.