By JUSTIN RAINS
Earlier this season, Groveton handed the 10th-ranked Elkhart baseball team a surprising loss.
That wasn’t happening again Friday.
Elkhart plated five runs in the second inning, and Howard College-commit Jordan White was solid on the mound in six innings of work as the Elks beat the Indians, 11-1, in six innings Friday at The Backyard.
After a scoreless frame in the first, it looked like a pitcher’s duel was on the horizon, as Groveton’s Josh Gray got a quick out.
But, White and Mason Huffines then reached and, after a strikeout by Cullen Adams, Hunter Parker lifted a ball to left field that found a hole for a double, scoring both Kevin Kidd — running for White — and Huffines to make it 2-0.
Then, Jackson Adair beat out a squibber up the first baseline, which scored Parker, who had stolen third. Adair then scored on a hit by Cole Bridges, and Bridges came around to score on a triple from Cisco College-bound Jacob Cheatham.
Gray again shut the Elks down in the third, only to have the Elkhart bats awaken again in the fourth.
This time, the rally happened exclusively with two outs, as Bridges reached second on a dropped fly ball by the Groveton centerfielder.
Cheatham then brought him home with his second triple, and Cheatham trotted home on a single to left by Stephen F. Austin-signee Levi Smith to make it 7-0.
Elkhart plated another run in the fifth, and Bridges led off the sixth with a double to deep left, stealing second and scoring on a throwing error by the Groveton catcher, who was trying to gun-down Cheatham, who reached when Groveton had dropped an easy pop-up in the infield.
Smith then came to the plate before popping up in foul territory, only to have that ball dropped. He responded with another single to left, and scored the clinching run when White grounded out to short.
The win moves Elkhart to 22-5 overall and 9-1 in district. The Elks return to action today at 10 a.m. when they travel to Mildred.
CAYUGA 10, LaPoynor 0
The Cayuga baseball team scored in every inning but the first, and Vernon College-bound Chantz Holland struck out 15 in a complete game effort as the Wildcats beat the Flyers, 10-0.
Holland allowed only two hits in the win —both coming in the first inning, and he helped his own cause with two hits and two RBI. The hits extended the senior’s hitting streak to 19 games.
John Vickery had his second-straight three-hit game for the Wildcats (17-3, 10-1) as well, driving in three runs.
Cayuga hosts Neches at 4 p.m. Tuesday.