KILLEEN — For the Ellison baseball team, the area round remains an uncleared obstacle.

Seeking to reach the regional quarterfinals for the first time in school history, the Eagles fell 8-1 to visiting Corsicana on Friday, ending a best-of-three series, and in the process, their season.

Keith Leerskov was 3-for-3 with an RBI and Michael Schmidt was 1-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Tigers (25-7), who completed a 2-0 sweep to advance to the regional quarterfinals for the fourth time in coach Tracy Wood’s seven-year tenure.

Stayton Thomas (12-3) worked seven solid innings to earn the win for the Tigers, who will face the winner of Lampasas and Red Oak at a time which has yet to be determined.

Ellison starter Chris Stanley (3-4), who worked 6 1/3 innings before yielding to Trent Sinclair, took the loss.

“We knew this series would be a fight because of the pitching they have,” said Ellison coach Craig Martin, whose club finished the season at 17-12. “Those guys did a great job and you just have to tip your hat to them.

“They made a lot of great pitches and they really got out there and competed.”

Touching Stanley for two runs in the first and two more in the third, the Tigers had given Thomas more offense than he would need by the fourth inning.

Schmidt, who produced the only RBI in Game 1, again hurt the Eagles, singling home Justise Contreras and Caleb Marx in the first.

Batting sixth in the Tiger order, Schmidt drove Marx home again in the third on a groundout, after which Hayden Grounds singled home Leerskov for a 4-0 lead.

“That’s how a team gets hot,” Wood said. “When you get the guys hitting sixth, seventh or eighth in the order coming up with big hits, that’s when you can go deep into the playoffs.”

Corsicana ran its lead to 5-0 with an unearned run in the fourth, after which the Eagles scored their only run of the series when Matt Jackson singled home Paul McCoy in the bottom of the frame.

Ellison threatened to make a game of it by loading the bases with one out in the fifth, only to be turned away when Thomas fanned McCoy and Kyle King in succession.

“Stayton was sharp tonight,” Wood said. “The way he went out there and competed was a big key for us.”

Leading 5-1, the Tigers put Ellison away with a three-run, three-hit outburst in the seventh which saw Stanley’s evening come to a close. Mark Mayfield, Marx and Leerskov had successive singles in the frame, the last of which scored Mayfield and brought Sinclair to the mound.

Shortly thereafter, Marx and Leerskov both advanced and scored on wild pitches to make it 8-1.

Ellison did produce a final scoring opportunity in its half of the seventh when walks by Torres and McCoy sandwiched a single by Sinclair to load the bases with two outs. Thomas, however, escaped trouble yet again by fanning King to end the Eagles’ season.

“That’s the way baseball works sometimes,” Martin said. “Our bats were a little slow the whole series, but you’ve still got to give credit to Corsicana.

“They’ll go as far as their pitching takes them.”

NOTES: Red Oak beat Lampasas, 4-0, in Game 1 of their best-of-three area round playoff series Friday night, according to reports from the Dallas Morning News.


Region II-4A Area

Game 2 of 2

Corsicana 8,

Killeen Ellison 1

Corsicana 202 100 3 — 8 9 1

Ellison 000 100 0 — 1 6 2

WP — Stayton Thomas (12-3, 12 Ks) 4 BBs. LP — Chris Stanley.

Leading Hitters — C: Stayton Thomas 1-4, Mark Mayfield 1-3 (run), Justise Contreras 1-3 (run), Caleb Marx 1-4 (3 runs), Keith Leerskov 3-3 (2 runs, RBI), Schmidt 1-4 (3 RBI), Grounds 1-3 (RBI). KE: Sinclair 2-4, Hallmark 1-3, Jackson 1-3, Torres 1-2.

Records: Corsicana (25-7), Killeen Ellison (17-11).

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