By Rusty Hitt
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Corsicana Tigers and Waxahachie Indians battled in a typical matchup for these two old rivals. The Tigers called on freshman Trevor Nolen to come back with two days rest after starting Game 1 on Wednesday and gave a gutsy performance as he pitched 3 2/3 innnings and gave up only one run on a hit by a solo home run to Sammy Ernst.
Waxahachie got six strong innings from starter David Martinelli, a DBU signee and rallied to beat the Tigers 6-3 in Game 3 of a Region II-4A bi-district playoff series. The Indians won the series 2-1 and will play McKinney North next.
Nolen gave up his one run in the second inning on the shot by Ernst, his second home run of the series.
Nolen pitched out of what looked like sure trouble in the third as the bases were loaded after back-to-back walks and a fielder's choice by Martinelli where Nolen attempted to get the out at third and the runner beat the throw.
With the bases loaded and no outs John Castellanos hit a fly ball to center field that looked to be enough to score the runner from third. However, the courtesy runner failed to tag up and was doubled off at third for two outs and Nolen then struck out No. 3 hitter David Villareal to end the threat.
Nolen was relieved with two outs in the fourth inning by sophomore DJ Minnear with runners at first and second. Taylor Bright hit line shot toward first basemen Bobby Lopez who timed his leap perfectly to snag the third out and get out of trouble.
After being held without a hit for three innings, the Tigers got off to a quick start in the fourth with a leadoff double by Hunter Denbow. Zane Otten followed with an RBI single to tie the game at one.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out with back to back walks by Nolen and Zack Rash. Otten was forced out at home on a fielders choice by Aaron Cantu. Martinelli then hit Layton Wolver and Brady Harlan to force in two runs. The Tigers took a 3 1 lead into the fourth inning.
Minniear came out for the fifth inning and walked the lead off hitter which was followed by infield hit by Martinelli. He then got a strikeout of Castellanos for the first out. Villareal hit a line drive up the middle and Medlock came home from second base and Otten a perfect one hop throw to Rash at the plate. It appeared that Rash blocked the plate and made the tag in time for the out but the home plate umpire called the runner safe.
This turned out to be a huge call in the game as later the Tigers had a throwing error by third baseman Holden Grounds that allowed the go ahead run to score also to give the Indians a 4-3 lead.
The Tigers allowed two more runs in the sixth with a home run by Taylor Bright and an inside-the-park home run by Martinelli. Aaron Cantu came on to get out of the sixth inning and scoreless in the seventh.
The Tigers mounted one last rally in the seventh when Holden Grounds had a one-out double while Denbow followed with a walk and Otten followed with his third hit of the day to load the bases. The Indians ended the game with a perfectly executed double play.
Heath Autrey's team finished with a record of 26-8 and a co-district championship. Coach Autrey said,"I was proud of the way we battled today, we never quit and gave a great effort."
Waxahachie 6, Corsicana 3
Waxahachie 010 032 0 -- 6 6 1
Corsicana 000 300 0 -- 3 5 2
WP -- David Martinelli
LP -- D.J. Minniear
Top Hitters -- Waxahachie: Ernst 1-3 (HR, RBI, BB), Martinelli 2-4 (HR, 2 runs) Bright 1-3 (HR, RBI) Villareal 1-3 (RBI, run) Corsicana: Zane Otten 3-3 (BB, RBI), Hunter Denbow 1-3 (2B, run, BB), Holden Grounds 1-4 (2B).