SNYDER—It couldn't have been any different a game for the Amarillo High Sandies on Friday afternoon than what they experienced on Thursday night at Moffett Field.

And it couldn't have been any different a result either, which is why they're playing again today.

One day following a pitchers' duel that the Sandies squeaked out against Colleyville Heritage, they got caught up in a slugfest in game two of a Class 5A region semifinal series. Heritage ended up landing more blows, beating Amarillo High 12-7 to tie the series at a game apiece.

That forces a third and final game at 7 p.m. this evening at Lubbock Cooper.

It's anybody's guess as to what to expect this evening as the first two games were polar opposites. Both teams struggled to scrape together any offense in the first game, which Amarillo High (28-10-2) pulled out 2-1. By the end of the first inning of game two, both teams had at least equaled what they did at the plate in game one.

"You look at it and we made some mistakes and good team like Colleyville is giong to take advantage of that," AHS coach Jeff Timmons said. "They scored late and we didn't. It comes down to a game three and that's why we play two out of three."

The teams duplicated results in the first inning. In the top half, Heritage's Bobby Witt Jr. blasted a two-run home run of Amarillo High sophomore left-hander Coby Bolen, but in the bottom half, Amarillo High's Rhett Maynard did the same thing to Heritage left Jakob Berger to tie the game 2-2.

Heritage (32-7) scored three off Bolen in the third, two of which were unearned, to take a 5-2 lead. But the Sandies counterpunched with four in the bottom of the inning, as Aaron Haase and Ryan Blackwell both homered and Caleb Flores hit a sacrifice fly to give the Sandies a 6-5 lead.

However, after that they only scored one more run the rest of the game, and left seven runners on base.

"Unfortunately those home runs came early and not late," Timmons said. "You have to get the big innings when you can but that's baseball. I know we'll come back and play hard again."

The Panthers tied it with an unearned run in the third, then in the fifth, they started the inning iwth back-to-back singles off Bolen by Coleton Hinkle and Chandler Freeman, who picked up the win in relief. Bolen was pulled for Maycin Smotherman.

"Bolen walked a few out there and he wasn't used to doing that being a sophomore," Timmons said. "Hats off to (the Panthers), they played a good ballgame."

Heritage brought in a pair of runs on a wild pitch by Smotherman and Nicholas Balsano's sacrifice fly for an 8-6 lead and never trailed again.

The Panthers put the game away with three runs in the top of the sixth for an 11-6 lead. Dean Lawler, who had four RBIs for Heritage, had the big hit with a two-riun single off Amarillo High reliever Karson Kite.

"I never would expect 12 runs but I do like our offense," Heritage coach Alan McDougal said. "When we scored six in the first three innings with our pitching, it's usually enough."

In the bottom of the sixth, the Sandies loaded the bases with one out against Freeman, but didn't get anyone in. Trevor Andrus led off the sixth with a double for Amarillo High and scored on a two-out single by Arcadio Frausto, but the Sandies still left two runners on base.

Today it will be up to the senior right-hander Andrus on the mound, the same pitcher who started the Class 6A state semifinal game as a sophomore. He's got graduation, but by now, Andrus knows the routine.

"I've just got to try to get some good rest, drink a lot of water and come out firing," Andrus said. "It's a big opportunity and I've got to come through. We're always ready for a game three."

 

Colleyville Heritage 12, Amarillo High 7

Heritage;231;023;1;—;12;11;0

Amarillo High;240;001;0;—;7;10;3

Jakob Berger, Chandler Freeman (3), Dean Lawler (6) and Nicholas Balsano. Coby Bolen, Maycin Smotherman (5), Karson Kite (6) and Ryan Blackwell. W—Freeman. L—Bolen 6-4. 2B—Amarillo High: Trevor Andrus, Aaron Haase. 3B—Heritage: Bobby Witt Jr. HR—Heritage: Witt. Amarillo High: Rhett Maynard, Aaron Haase, Ryan Blackwell. Records: Heritage 32-7, Amarillo High 28-10-2.