ROWLETT BASEBALL JAXON KIRKHUFF

Rowlett’s Jaxon Kirkhuff pitched seven strong innings as Rowlett picked up a 11-5 victory over Garland on Tuesday.

The players might change over the years, but the end result for Rowlett has been the same and that has been a trip to the playoffs.

The Eagles recently extended their Garland ISD-record of consecutive playoff appearances to 21 seasons in a row.

Another common ingredient of those teams is that Rowlett is not content to rest on its laurels and although its spot in the postseason is secured, it wants to finish the regular season with momentum.

The Eagles took another step toward doing just that on Tuesday, pulling away from Garland for a 11-5 victory.

Rowlett improves to 10-3 in district and remains alone in second place heading into Friday’s season finale against Lakeview. The Eagles hold a one-game lead over Sachse and Naaman Forest for the second spot after the Mustangs upended first-place Wylie and the Rangers took care of the Patriots on Tuesday.

After two scoreless frames, Rowlett got the offense going in the top of the third inning.

Garrett Gibbs singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Hudson Parker to take a 1-0 lead.

Later in the inning, Anthony Valenzuela beat out a potential double-play ball, allowing Emilio Luna to score to make it 2-0.

Although out of the playoff race, Garland did not go down without a fight, scoring twice in the third to tie it at 2-2.

Rowlett had an instant response in the top of the fourth with a five-run rally.

Chris Collins singled, Christian Cuevas was hit by a pitch and Zach York reached on a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out.

Gibbs then drove in a run on a bunt single, two runs scored when Parker’s hard ground ball to shortstop was mishandled and Luna delivered the big blow with a two-run triple to left to push the lead to 7-2.

The Owls scratched across a run in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Eagles continued to match them.

In the top of the fifth, Jaxon Kirkhuff reached on an error and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Cuevas, and in the sixth, Heath Salyards, Kirkhuff and Collins all drove in runs to extend the advantage to 11-3 and that would be more than enough for Kirkhuff to close it out, as he went the distance, striking out six and allowing just two earned runs in seven innings.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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