By SCOTT TYLER

H-P Sports Editor



After rallying to defeat Diboll Thursday night, the Palestine Wildcats carried that momentum over to Friday night and Cory Moore pitched a five-hit complete game in the Wildcats 8-1 win over Huntington.

“We knew coming into this week, these two games were going to be virtual must-win games,” Palestine head coach Jason Farrow said. “These are two huge wins to get us back into the race.”

Palestine finishes the first half of district with three straight wins and is 3-4 at the halfway point.

On Thursday, Palestine trailed by one run with two outs in the seventh inning but rallied for two runs to take the lead and then got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Wildcats carried that momentum straight into Friday’s game as Palestine scored all eight runs in the first three innings.

“We caught some breaks last night and that win really carried over for us tonight,” Farrow said. “Tonight was one of the first times this year we have put all three phases of the game together.

“We beat a very good Huntington team who has been playing good baseball.”

Moore earned the win as he allowed one run on five hits and seven walks while striking out eight batters.

“That is the Cory Moore we have been looking for,” Farrow said. “He has had a slow start to the year but has worked hard to get back to his old form.”

Moore, who struck out six in the first three innings, had some control problems in the second inning as he walked three and a Blake Stanberry single scored a run.

But Moore would settle down after the second inning, allowing only one runner to reach second base for the next four innings.

The Palestine right hander also got good defense behind him as Palestine committed only one error.

It was the Palestine defense that ended the game as Huntington loaded the bases but second baseman Gary Scoggin leapt in the air to snag a line drive off the bat of Josh Byars.

At the plate, Palestine had contribution from most of its lineup as eight of the nine batters reached base at least once and seven different batters scored a run.

“When everyone contributes to score runs, you are going to have success,” Farrow said.

Palestine also took advantage of six Huntington errors. It was a Huntington error in the first inning that helped get Palestine on the board.

After Moore and Stuart Andrews led off with back-to-back singles, Taylor Burris put down a bunt down the third-base line. Huntington pitcher Ryan Goddard fielded the bunt but he over threw first base allowing both Moore and Andrews to score.

Burris later scored on a ground out by David White.

Huntington’s fielding cost the Red Devils again in the second inning when Austin Daughtery reached on a walk, stole second and then with two outs went to third on a wild pitch.

Moore came through with his second hit of the game when he blooped a single down the right-field line to score Daughtery.

Palestine sent nine batters to the plate in the third inning to score four runs.

Burris led off the inning with a double and after a walk to White, Rueben Vasquez hit a double to right field scoring both Burris and White.

Vasquez would come around and score on a fielder’s choice by Gary Scoggin and Matthew Bentley, who walked earlier in the inning, scored on a throwing error when reliever Caleb Williams, on a pick off attempt, over threw first base.

Palestine will start the second half of district with a pair of road games as the Wildcats will head to Crockett Tuesday and Central Friday.

“We have to continue playing good baseball,” Farrow said. “If we can do that, we will be in the mix and we will be in the playoff hunt.”

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Scott Tyler may be contacted via e-mail at styler@palestineherald.com

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