Pampa wrapped up round one of district play on Tuesday this week against Randall. With the 5-2 win over West Plains on Friday and the 5-2 loss to Randall on Tuesday, the Harvesters’ record rested at 9-11 overall and 4-3 in district play. Pampa will open up round two of district play Friday, hosting Hereford. Every game from here on out is critical for the Harvesters as just the top four teams make the playoffs. Two of the Canyon schools are ranked in the top 20 in the state for 4A as well.
Senior Tyler Reed took the bump in perhaps the most important game of the season yet for the Harvesters last Friday night in Pampa. He cruised along in the first inning with two groundouts and a pop-out to hold the Wolves scoreless. Reed tried to help his own cause on the mound from the plate with a double to left in the bottom of the first. However, Pampa was unable to capitalize and the score rested at double zeros after one completion.
In the top of the second, West Plains got a runner on base just like in the first but Reed was able to quickly end that threat as well. The bats would come alive for Pampa in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back singles by freshmen Boston Botello and Jarren Hill put Pampa in business. Sophomore Isaiah Anguiano laid down a sac bunt to advance both runners to scoring positions. With two outs, senior Huston Skinner doubled on a fly ball to left to score both runners and put Pampa up 2-0. Freshman Judsen Hancock was next up and he quickly doubled as well to right and scored Skinner on the play. After two complete, Pampa led 3-0.
The Wolves were able to get a runner on base again but Reed once again showed his dominance by shutting down the threat quickly in the top of the third. The score remained 3-0 after Pampa was also shut down in their half of the third.
In the fourth, West Plains had a double and a single to begin the frame and it looked like they were about to make a game of it. Reed said not so fast my friend as he recorded a strikeout. This was followed up by a fielder’s choice where Reed tossed to fellow senior Michael Campos at home to record the second out. However, West Plains did push across one run with a double steal. Pampa took the for-sure out at second to end the inning but not before the runner on third was able to come home. The Harvesters were shut out again in the fourth. Pampa led 3-1 after four complete.
West Plains led off with a double before Reed was able to get the next batter to ground into a 6-3 double play as Skinner fielded the ball, touched second base, and threw over to Botello at first for the second out. An error followed by a double put the Wolves on the board again. It was 3-2 Pampa with a runner on second for the Wolves and their best hitter coming to the plate. Reed was able to get a huge strikeout here and end the threat to tie the game. Pampa looked to get some insurance runs going in the bottom of the fifth now.
Campos singled on a great bunt to third base. Reed walked. This put two runners on with one out for the Harvesters and freshman Max Neff coming to the plate. Neff singled on a grounder too short. The shortstop made a bad throw and Campos was able to score and make it 4-2 Pampa.
Botello walked and the bases were now loaded for Hill. Hill grounded into a fielder’s choice as the pitcher threw to the catcher to get the force out at home. However, the catcher then threw to first and threw it away to allow Neff to come home and score. Pampa led 5-2 now after five complete.
West Plains was able to get the leadoff man on base again with a walk. The next batter grounded into a fielder’s choice as Hanock grabbed it and tossed it to Skinner to get the lead runner out. What happened next was a real pivotal point in the ballgame. The next batter hit a pop fly in shallow right field. Hancock caught it and the runner was advancing so he threw over to Botello to get the double play and end the threat once again. Pampa couldn’t get anything going in their half of the sixth so we headed to the top of the seventh and it was last call time for the Wolves.
Reed was able to get the first batter to ground out to Skinner. After a walk, Reed bowed up and struck out the next two batters to end the game. Pampa won 5-2 and picked up an important fourth win in the first round of district play.
Reed pitched a complete game with just one earned run allowed, two walks, and five strikeouts. He got the win as well. From the plate, he had a double, a walk, and a run scored.
Hancock recorded a double and an RBI. Skinner had a double, two RBIs, and a run scored.
Neff, Botello, and Hill all recorded hits as well. Neff had two steals and Campos had one steal.
Sophomore Brooks Barton got the call to start on the mound for Pampa in the game against Randall on Monday night. The game was moved due to the heavy wind forecast on Tuesday for the Panhandles. Instead of 50-70 mph winds, the game was played in 20-40 mph winds!
Randall entered the game ranked No. 3 in the state in class 4A. They went to the Regional Quarterfinals in 5A last year before dropping down to 4A this season thanks to the addition of Canyon West Plains.
Barton recorded two strikeouts in the first inning but two runs were able to come home for the Raiders and Randall led 2-0 after one inning.
Botello hit a double in the second inning for Pampa but that was all the action for the Harvesters in either of the first two innings of play.
Barton stepped up big time in this game with two more strikeouts in the bottom of the second. One occurred with the bases loaded to end the threat for the Raiders. Just as Reed did on Friday, Barton tried to help his own cause at the plate when he singled on a line drive to center to begin the third inning. Skinner laid down a sac bunt to move senior Brenton Stowers to second. Stowers is the courtesy runner for Barton. Campos singled on a line drive to right to score Stowers and there was a ballgame brewing with Pampa trailing just 2-1.
Once again, Barton fed off the energy from the bats with two more strikeouts on the mound. Barton had six strikeouts through three innings of work. Randall led 2-1 after three complete.
Barton recorded his seventh strikeout to begin the bottom of the fourth. The next batter popped out. What looked to be a quick inning and the third out on a pop fly by the next batter, unfortunately, Botello could not field it and the inning would continue. That was the one mistake Randall needed to capitalize on. The next two batters hit a triple, followed by a home run. Randall led 5-1 now. Sophomore Isaiah Estrada came in to record the final out of the fourth inning.
Pampa and Randall both went quietly in the fifth inning.
Hancock was not ready for Pampa to roll over and quit. He reached an error to begin the sixth. Reed hit a huge double to center to score Hancock. The score was now 5-2 Randall with Reed at second base. Neff reached on an infield single to third as the third baseman hesitated about trying to get Reed out just long enough. You cannot pause at all when trying to throw out Neff and his speed! Neff stole second base and Pampa had runners on the corners with one out and looking to cut into the deficit more. However, the threat quickly ended with a ground-out and strikeout.
Estrada seemed to feed off Barton’s momentum as he sat down the first two batters of the sixth with strikeouts. The last batter of the inning lined out right to Hancock. It was the last call for the Harvesters at the top of the seventh.
After a leadoff strikeout, Estrada walked as did Skinner and Hancock. Estrada was gunned down trying to steal second during the at-bat by Skinner. Pampa was unable to capitalize on the base runners again and the final was Randall 5, Pampa 2.
Barton pitched 3.2 innings with just four hits and one earned run allowed. He had seven strikeouts. Estrada pitched 2.1 innings with just one hit and two strikeouts.
Reed and Botello both had doubles in the game. Barton, Campos, and Neff all had singles. Neff had a stolen base as well.
As an assistant/stat keeper, I just wanted to say how impressed I was with the Harvesters on Tuesday. I want to put this into perspective for everyone. Randall beat Dumas 12-0 with a 5-inning no-hitter. They beat West Plains 5-3. They beat Canyon 5-4. They beat Hereford 10-0 in 5 innings. They beat Perryton 11-0 in 5 innings. They beat Borger 22-0 with another no-hitter in 5 innings.
In the first round of district before the Pampa game, Randall scored 65 runs in 6 games. An average of 10.8 runs per game. They also allowed just 7 runs in those same games. Four of those games were shutouts! That is an average of just 1.16 runs per game allowed.
Pampa put up a great fight and competed until the last out.
District Standings as of April 4 (Top 4 will make playoffs):
Randall 7-0, Canyon 5-2, Hereford 5-2, Pampa 4-3, West Plains 4-3, Dumas 2-5, Perryton 1-6 ,Borger 0-7
Barring any upsets, if Pampa goes 4-3 in the second round of district by beating the same four teams again (Borger, Dumas, Perryton, and West Plains), they will make the playoffs. If they can upset one of Canyon, Hereford, or Randall that will only help their seeding.
Pampa hosted Hereford on Friday in Pampa. Every district game is important at this time of the season. They will be back in action on the road against Perryton on Tuesday of next week. Catch up on the recap of those games next week! All games are live-streamed on the GameChanger app. You can also catch Jamisen Hancock and Ben Campbell with the radio call for KDRL 103.3 FM. Their radio broadcast will also be on the live stream.
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