The No. 11 Belton Tigers took an undefeated District 12-6A record into Hewitt on Tuesday night, as they took on the No. 22 Waco Midway Panthers.
Belton took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning when the Panthers responded with four runs, then added two more in the fifth, and six more in the sixth inning to run-rule the Tigers by a score of 12-2.
The win moved the Panthers (10-1, 17-8 overall) to within one-half game of first place Belton (11-1, 21-5-1 overall).
The loss snapped the Tigers’ nine-game winning streak,
The Tigers scored first on Midway starter Logan Pace. With one out, Dylan Blomquist, Preston Rozner and Connor Carothers hit consecutive singles to load the bases. Pace hit Ben Jones with a pitch to force in a run and give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Cooper Babcock then grounded back to Pace, who turned a double play to get the Panthers out of further trouble.
Blomquist got the start for the Tigers on the hill. Blomquist struck out Couper Cornblum with one out, but on a dropped third strike Cornblum reached on missed throw at first base. Cornblum was caught stealing on a pickoff throw at first base but landed at third when the throw ended up in left field. Blomquist got Joseph Redfield to fly to Fentress at shortstop and Tripp Clark to fly to Rozner in center field to get out of trouble.
After both sides were retired in order in the second inning, the Tigers generated a two-out run in the top of the third. Rozner tripled to centerfield and scored on Carothers’ single to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
Midway turned their fortunes, and the game’s momentum, around in the bottom of the inning. An RBI triple by Elijah Rodriguez, RBI singles by Cornblum and Tripp Clark, and an RBI double by J.J. Davis put the Panthers in the lead, 4-2.
The Tigers last serious scoring opportunity was in the fourth inning. Logan Riggins reached on a single with one out and reached third on a Keagan Wolfe single with two outs. A flyout ended the threat for the Tigers.
Blomquist was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth inning with a strikeout of Redfield.
Jackson Berry came on in relief in the fifth and struck out the Tigers in order.
Will Rigney’s RBI double and run scored on a wild pitch put the Panthers up 6-2. Blomquist was relieved by Jace Stephen with two out in the fifth inning and induced a flyout by Elijah Rodriguez.
After the Tigers were retired in the sixth inning, Midway scored six times to close out the contest, as they sent nine batters to the plate.
Pace picked up the win for Midway. He pitched four innings, gave up two runs on six hits, hit a batter, walked none and struck out three. Jackson Berry allowed one hit and struck out three in two innings of relief.
Rozner and Carothers each picked up two hits in Belton’s seven-hit output, as the Tigers stranded six runners on base.
Blomquist was saddled with the loss, having pitched 4 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs on 10 hits, walked two, and struck out five. Stephen pitched one inning of relief, allowed six runs on four hits, walked two, and struck out one.
The Tigers will hit the road again on Friday, as they will take on Shoemaker in Killeen at 7 p.m. The Grey Wolves lost to Temple on Tuesday night, 12-2.