By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
Now the playoffs can begin.
The Tigers lost 13-3 to Whitehouse on Saturday afternoon, falling in five innings on a windy, sunny day at Rockwall Heath.
If this run-rule loss had come in one of the the Tigers' two district games against Whitehouse, this would have made for a long weekend. That it comes in what amounted to a warmup game before the playoffs -- one that was played for seeding purposes -- makes it feel more like losing in the Denton Ryan Tournament.
Remember when the Tigers lost to Haltom 15-6 back in February and bounced back and won 17 of 20 games. No reason why they can't go on a similar run now.
Corsicana (25-6-1) will play Waxahachie in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs. It's a rematch of last year's regional quarterfinal, won by the Indians. The particulars of the series -- whether it will be a one-game playoff or a series -- and where and when the Tigers and Indians will play hasn't been decided.
The Tigers' hopes of getting the No. 1 seed out of 16-4A started looking bleak in the first inning Saturday. Whitehouse had three hits in 13 innings off Corsicana ace Holden Grounds as the teams split the regular-season series. The Wildcats scored five runs on four hits in the bottom of the first.
Corsicana starter Tyler Casbeer, had the misfortune of pitching with the wind blowing straight out, walked the first batter of the game. Then Wildcats second baseman Eric Munoz lofted a fly ball that got caught up in the wind and fell behind Tigers left fielder Aaron Cantu.
That gave the Wildcats runners at second and third and Aaron Clemons plated them with a two-run single. His brother, Derek Clemons, had a two-run single later in the inning as the Wildcats quickly built a 5-0 lead.
Corsicana answered with a run in the top of the second as Zane Otten had a single, Bobby Lopez had a double and Ben Goodrich reached on an error.
Whitehouse scored three runs in the bottom of the second for a 8-1 lead. Eric Munoz and Aaron Clemons had consecutive RBI doubles and Patrick Mahomes added a run-scoring single.
The Tigers tried to crawl back in the game in the top of the fourth. Hunter Denbow walked and scored on Otten's triple to left field. Otten scored when Goodrich reached again on an error to cut the lead to 8-3.
But Whitehouse had an answer for every Tigers' rally. The Wildcats scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth off Corsicana reliever D.J. Minniear. Wildcats shortstop Michael Nuon had the big blow with a home run to left-center field to start the inning. Derek Clemons had another two-run double and Jake Parker added a run-scoring single for a 12-3 lead.
Whitehouse ended the game on a run rule on a RBI fielder's choice by Munoz in the bottom of the fifth.
The Clemons brothers combined for seven of Whitehouse's 13 RBIs. Starting pitcher Ryan Cheatham allowed three hits in five innings.
The Wildcats will open the playoffs against 16-4A fourth-place team Red Oak.
The Tigers will regroup, put what amounted to a meaningless game behind them and get ready for old rival Waxahachie as the season turns to the most important point -- the playoffs.
Whitehouse 13, Corsicana 3
Corsicana 010 20 -- 3
Whitehouse 530 41 -- 13
WP -- Ryan Cheatham
LP -- Tyler Casbeer
Top hitters -- Corsicana: Zane Otten 2-2 (3B, RBI, 2 runs), Bobby Lopez 1-2 (2B); Whitehouse: Michael Nuon 1-1 (HR, RBI, four runs, SB), Eric Munoz 2-3 (2 2Bs, RBI, 2 runs), Aaron Clemons 3-3 (2B, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), Patrick Mahomes 1-2 (RBI, 2 runs, SB), Derek Clemons 2-2 (2B, 4 RBIs, two runs), Jake Parker 1-3 (RBI).
Records -- Corsicana 25-6-1.