After two double-digit wins to open its District 6-6A slate, the Plano West baseball team showed Tuesday that it can be comfortable in close quarters as well.
And against one of the best teams in the state, no less.
The Wolves got a lift in the sixth inning to overtake state-ranked Coppell for a 5-4 road victory and improve to 3-0 in conference play. West is the lone remaining unbeaten team in 6-6A.
The Wolves remained perfect in district despite playing at a deficit most of the night. The Cowboys struck for a run in the bottom of the first inning and countered a two-run fifth with three of their own to stake West at a 4-2 deficit entering the top of the sixth.
The pendulum swung in favor of the Wolves early, with Brian Hallum leading off the frame with a solo home run before Bryce Farlander and Christian Gutierrez also got on base. That set up a two-run single by James Raecek to give West a 5-4 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish.
Chase Spencer, pitching in relief for Nick Moore, kept Coppell at bay the rest of the ballgame by retiring the Cowboys in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to secure a pivotal road win for the Wolves. In 2.1 innings thrown, Spencer struck out four and didn’t allow a hit en route to the save.
Hallum went 2-of-4 with an RBI in the win, while JT Gorman and Raecek logged two-hit nights as well.
The win improved West to 8-8 on the season and marked the team’s fourth victory in a row.
Around the diamond
• Plano’s baseball team nearly secured a state-ranked win of its own after a back-and-forth scrap against Marcus. Despite Blake Van Cleve and Jason Hawkins teaming up on the mound to limit the Marauders to just four hits, Marcus scored the walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh after an RBI single from Hunter Teplansky for a 4-3 victory.
• Plano East’s baseball team bounced back from its first shutout loss of the season by routing Lewisville, 11-3. Now 2-1 in district and part of a three-way tie for second place, the Panthers racked up 14 hits in the win and got an eight-strikeout effort on the bump by Ben Baker-Livingston. Zach Esquivel was big at the plate with three hits and two RBIs.
• A meeting between the first- and second-place teams in 6-6A softball got out of hand early as Flower Mound struck for six runs in the second inning to spark a 12-2 victory over Plano. The Lady Wildcats led 2-0 through one inning thanks to an RBI from Mackenzie Ridley, but the Lady Jaguars were quick to counter with 12 unanswered runs. Led in the circle by Landrie Harris, Flower Mound limited Plano to just three hits to stay unbeaten at 6-0 in district play.
• A late rally by West’s softball team came up short in a 4-2 loss to Hebron on Tuesday. The Lady Hawks led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth before the Lady Wolves cut their deficit in half thanks to RBIs from Catie Kim and Jamie Cendana. West only mustered three hits on the night, despite a complete game thrown by Cynthia Ng, to fall to 2-4 in district.
• East softball remains in search of its first district win after Tuesday’s 18-3 loss to Coppell. The Lady Panthers had a rough go in the field with eight errors on top of 13 hits allowed. East had success from the plate with seven hits, including two from Lauren Trinh and Marli Kennedy, and managed a 3-2 lead through three innings. However, Coppell closed the game with 16 unanswered runs, including eight in the top of the seventh.