The No. 16 McLennan Highlanders stomped Grayson in both games of Saturday afternoon's doubleheader at Bosque River Ballpark to pick up the series win over the 14th-ranked Vikings.
McLennan defeated Grayson 11-4 in the early game with Grant Miller getting the win on the mound.
Grayson began the scoring with a Ricky Martinez solo home run in the top of the second inning.
McLennan took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second. Griffin Paxton drew a lead-off walk, moved to second on a Grayson error, and scored on a single by George Callil. Callil then scored on a double by Aidan Shepardson.
The Highlanders added four runs in the third. Mitchell Caskey was hit by the pitch, and Paxton singled – both advancing on a passed ball. Chase Sortor also walked to load the bases. Callil was safe at first on an error, bringing Caskey in to score. Paxton and Sortor scored on sacrifices by Shepardson and Dylan Neuse. Callil then scored on a wild pitch.
The Vikings added a run in the top of the fourth as Jackson Glenn singled, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Martinez.
McLennan extended its lead with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Caskey walked and Paxton doubled, both scoring on a double by Callil. Shepardson and Neuse both walked to load the bases. Josh Breaux followed with a fielder's choice, scoring Callil and putting Neuse out at second. Shepardson scored on a wild pitch, and Thomas Santos doubled to score Breaux.
Grayson rounded out the scoring with two runs in the fifth as Brandon Pruitt walked and scored on a Clayton Rasbeary home run.
The Highlanders continued to show their offensive prowess in game two, defeating the Vikings 14-5 in seven innings. Nick Urbantke got the win on the mound.
Grayson scored a run in the first as Rasbeary walked, moved to second on a single by Ryne Randle, advanced to third on Andrew Miller's walk and scored on a fielder's choice by Glenn.
McLennan took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Neuse walked, Santos singled and Keaton Milford walked, loading the bases. Neuse scored on a fielder's choice by Nick Thornquist, and Milford scored on a double by Paxton.
The Vikings tied the game with a run in the second. Cordell Dunn Jr. singled but was out at second on a fielder's choice by Pruitt. Rasbeary and Randle followed with back-to-back singles, bringing Pruitt in to score.
A run in the bottom of the second put the Highlanders back on top. Callil drew a lead-off walk and stole second. Neuse and Breaux followed with back-to-back singles to score Callil.
Grayson tied the game again with a run in the third as Glenn doubled and scored on a single by Martinez.
McLennan broke the game open with four runs in the fourth. Neuse singled and Breaux doubled. Neuse scored on a ground out by Santos, and Breaux scored on a single by Milford. Milford stole second and moved to third on an error before scoring on a single by Paxton. Sortor then doubled to score Paxton.
The Vikings' final two runs came in the top of the sixth. Pruitt walked and Rasbeary was hit by the pitch. Miller followed with a single to score Pruitt, and Rasbeary scored on a fielder's choice by Glenn.
The Highlanders sealed a run-rule victory with seven runs in the bottom the sixth. Thornquist and Paxton walked, and Sortor singled to load the bases. Callil followed with a single to score Thornquist and Paxton. Neuse then singled to score Sortor and Callil. Breaux followed with a double to score Neuse, and Santos doubled to score Breaux. Santos then scored on a double by Thornquist.
"Wow, what an overall great day! I'm really proud of the way our guys responded. They came out and played with great energy and great focus. Everybody was into every pitch, and it was really fun to see the guys get after it offensively on the mound and playing defense," head coach Mitch Thompson said.
"Game one was a game where we jumped on them a little bit and got out to a big lead. Grant Miller was very good and continued to pitch well for us through six strong innings and gave us a great start. We scored a bunch of runs, and it was fun to see the guys swing the bats and be aggressive offensively."
"It was nice to see us come back in game two, and it was Daniel Cole's first start of the year. It was good to see our guys give him some run support early. We gave up a run in each of the first three innings, but we responded. We just continued to respond all day long offensively and grinding out great at-bats."
"Two big wins against a really good Grayson team really is a great way to go into the last series of the year against Ranger. I couldn't be more proud of the guys. We pitched the ball extremely well. Our coaches did a great job of moving people. Coach Berry and Coach Leverton called a great game together, and Coach Kieschnick did a great job giving our guys an approach at the plate. ... Our guys executed all day long. It was a lot of fun."
McLennan 11, Grayson 4
Grayson 010 120 0 – 4 8 3
McLennan 024 500 x – 11 9 0
T.J. Mullins, Jeff Wilson (3), Oliver Howitt (4) and Jarrett Gonzales. Grant Miller, Brady Childress (7) and Josh Breaux. WP: Miller; LP: Mullins. Leading hitters – Grayson: Clayton Rasbeary (2-4, HR, 2 RBI), Jackson Glenn (2-3) and Ricky Martinez (2-3, HR, 2 RBI); McLennan: Dylan Neuse (1-2, RBI), Josh Breaux (1-3, RBI), Thomas Santos (1-3, 2B, RBI), Griffin Paxton (3-3, 2B), George Callil (2-4, 2B, 4 RBI) and Aidan Shepardson (1-2, 2B, 2 RBI). Record: McLennan 35-14 (20-7).
McLennan 14, Grayson 5
Grayson 111 002 0 – 5 11 1
McLennan 210 407 x – 14 16 0
Braxton Webb, Ligon West (3), Cohen Bell (6) and Andrew Miller. Daniel Cole, Nick Urbantke (3), Payton Strambler (6) and Nick Thornquist. WP: Urbantke, LP: West. Leading hitters – Grayson: Ryne Randle (2-4, RBI), Andrew Miller (1-3, RBI), Jackson Glenn (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Ricky Martinez (1-4, RBI) and Cordell Dunn (3-4); McLennan: Dylan Neuse (3-4, 2 RBI), Josh Breaux (3-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI), Thomas Santos (3-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Keaton Milford (1-4, RBI), Nick Thornquist (1-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Griffin Paxton (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI), Chase Sortor (2-4, 2B, RBI), George Callil (1-3, 2 RBI). Record: McLennan 36-14 (21-7).