The fifth-ranked McLennan Highlanders and Ranger Rangers split today's conference-opening doubleheader at Bosque River Ballpark.
McLennan got the 15-2 run-rule victory in game one with Will Carsten getting the win on the mound.
The Highlanders scored two runs in the bottom of the first. Ty Johnson was hit by the pitch and Daniel Altman drew a walk. Cole Fontenelle followed with a double to score Johnson and Altman.
McLennan added three runs in the second. Katcher Halligan and Izzy Lopez both singled and scored on a double by Hunter Grimes. Grimes then advanced to third on the throw and scored on a ground out by Johnson.
The Highlanders exploded for nine runs in the third. Halligan and Lopez drew back-to-back walks. Grimes then singled to score Halligan. Johnson followed with a three-run homer. Altman singled but was out at second on a fielder's choice by Fontenelle. Ravaughn Morgan and Marquis Jackson both walked. Hank Bard followed with a single to score Fontenelle. Halligan then singled to score Morgan and Jackson. Grimes also singled, bringing Bard and Halligan in to score.
Both of Ranger's runs came in the top of the fourth. EJ Alanis was safe on a dropped third strike and Chris Kean reached on an error. Kean was out at second on a fielder's choice by Maycin Smotherman. Kade Wood then singled to score Alanis, and Smotherman scored on an error.
McLennan rounded out the scoring with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Fontenelle walked and Elijah Rodriguez was hit by the pitch. Fontenelle then moved to third on a wild pitch and Rodriguez was thrown out at second. Bard then tripled to score Fontnenelle.
Ranger took game two 6-4 with Will Glatch taking the loss on the mound.
The Rangers scored two runs in the first. Josh Rodriguez singled and Gilberto Torres drew a walk. Both runners scored on a single by Jhanel Bautista.
McLennan took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the first. Grimes led off with a solo home run. Johnson then walked and scored on a double by Fontenelle. Fontenelle advanced to third on a ground out by Cash McNicholas and scored on a ground out by Cole Dillon.
Ranger tied the game with a run in the second. Kean singled, advanced to second on a ground out by Smotherman, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a single by Van Gupton Jr.
The Highlanders took the lead again with a run in the third. Johnson was hit by the pitch and advanced to second on a passed ball. Fontenelle singled, and Johnson scored on an error.
The Rangers tied the game once again with a run in the eighth. Bautista singled and was replaced by pinch runner Kyle Meister. Smotherman then doubled to score Meister.
Rangers sealed the win with two runs in the ninth. Gupton Jr. and Rodriguez both singled and advanced on a ground out by Torres. Alex Olivo was given the intentional walk, loading he bases. Tyler Taylor then singled to score Gupton Jr. and Rodriguez.
McLennan and Ranger will complete the four-game series with a noon doubleheader Saturday in Ranger.
McLennan 15, Ranger 2
Ranger 000 20 – 2 3 0
McLennan 239 1x – 15 11 4
Elias Sanchez, Brayden Murphy (3), Luis Martinez (3), Tristan Thurman (4) and Chris Kean. Will Carsten and Hank Bard. WP: Carsten; LP: Sanchez. Leading hitters – Ranger: Kade Wood (1-2, RBI); McLennan: Hunter Grimes (3-4, 3B, 5 RBI), Ty Johnson (1-2, HR, 4 RBI), Cole Fontenelle (1-2, 2B, 2 RBI), Hank Bard (2-4, 3B, 2 RBI) and Katcher Halligan (2-3, 2 RBI). Record: McLennan 14-5-1 (1-0).
Ranger 6, McLennan 4
Ranger 210 000 012 – 6 12 2
McLennan 301 000 000 – 4 6 1
Austin Hunter, Kyle Collet (4), Eli Breeden (9), Gabriel Sevillano (9), Chris Kean (9) and Chris Kean, Sloan Laird (9). Devin Bennett, Nick Greaney (2), Jared Matheson (5), Austin Ford (8), Will Glatch (8) and Cole Dillon, Hank Bard (9). WP: Collet; LP: Glatch; SV: Kean. Leading hitters – Ranger: Joshua Rodriguez (3-4, 2B), Jhanel Bautista (2-4, 2 RBI), Tyler Taylor (1-1, 2 RBI), EJ Alanis (1-5, 2B), Maycin Smotherman (1-3, 2B, RBI), and Van Gupton Jr. (2-3, RBI); McLennan: Hunter Grimes (1-5, HR, RBI), Cole Fontenelle (2-3, 2B, RBI), Cole Dillon (0-3, RBI) and Izzy Lopez (3-4, 2B). Record: McLennan 14-6-1 (1-1).