Mineola used a balanced offensive attack and aggressive base running to down Quitman 9-6 March 15 at Rains High School. Each team struck early in the game with Quitman leading 3-2 after one inning of play. The Yellowjackets scored in six of the seven innings and built a lead that was too much for a late Bulldog rally to overcome.
In the first, Mineola generated a two-out rally behind consecutive singles by River Simonek and Cole Castleberry and the benefit of a Bulldog outfield error. Simonek and Castleberry each had three base hits on the day.
The Bulldogs’ Ben Burroughs crushed a triple in the bottom of the first, driving in the first Quitman score of the game. Later that inning, Quitman’s Trey Berry provided the highlight of the game by jumping completely over Mineola second baseman Conner Dobbs en route to second base when Mineola had him trapped. Berry was safe on the play. Caleb Hamby’s single up the middle collected two RBI to close out an action-packed opening inning.
Neither team scored in the second as Mineola pitcher Simonek and Quitman hurler Burroughs settled in. The second provided plenty of action though as Yellowjacket Bryce Strange was gunned down at the plate trying to score after a Quitman throwing error. In the bottom half, Quitman was doubled up after a long fly ball to center.
The Bulldogs added a run in the third after Riley Flanagan reached on an infield single and was driven home by Berry’s hard liner to left field. Quitman did not score again until the seventh.
The Yellowjackets scored in each of the remaining innings, dispersing 11 hits throughout the order.
Of note, Castleberry belted two triples on the night, one each to the left-center and right-center gaps.
A two-out Mineola rally in the fifth added two runs when Strange slapped the ball into the right field corner.
Leading off the sixth inning, Yellowjacket shortstop Dalton Rogers smashed the ball to right center, where it rolled to the fence. Rogers accelerated around first base and never slowed, scoring an inside the park home run.
In the bottom of the inning Rogers made a very difficult catch in shallow left field of a looping fly ball.
The Bulldogs made a strong comeback in the seventh inning, putting up two runs off base hits by Burroughs, Flanagan, Berry and Hamby. But the fireworks were too little, too late.
Simonek threw 7 and 2/3 innings for Mineola, giving up 10 hits, walking one and striking out 10.
Burroughs gave up 11 hits in six innings for Quitman. Ty Holland completed the game for Quitman after a brief appearance by Mason Reynolds.