Liberty Hill walks off against Llano

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By MIKE SCHOEFFEL

The Liberty Hill baseball team won in one of the dramatic fashion last Friday evening against Llano, scoring a 5-4 walk-off win on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh.

The win was an important one for the Panthers, who entered the night 1-2 in district play. It was their second consecutive district win — the first being a 1-0 win over rival Burnet on April 5 — and it gave them some momentum as they forged ahead into a crucial match-up with Taylor, one of the top two teams in the district, on April 12.

As for that game-winning wild pitch, here’s how it unfolded.

The bases loaded were loaded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the score tied at four. The Llano pitcher fired a pitch that skipped passed the catcher, prompting the runner on third, Mason McLenna, to break for home. McLenna made it in safely, giving the Panthers’ a 5-4 win in front of an jubilant home crowd.

Liberty Hill starter Nathan Flake turned in one of his best games to date, striking out seven and allowing just three earned runs over five and two-thirds innings of work. Reliever Jared Huddleston worked one and one-thirds scoreless innings, putting the Panthers in a position to walk-off in the seventh.

Llano took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI single. Garret Wright answered with an RBI single of his own in the bottom of the third to tie it.

In the top of the fourth, an error and a wild pitch gave Llano a 3-1 lead. Liberty Hill tied it, once again, in the bottom of the inning, on a Turner Gryseels RBI double and an error by the Llano third baseman.

The final three runs of the game scored on wild pitches. Travis Williamson put the Panthers up 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth and Llano tied it right back up in the top of the sixth before Liberty Hill got the last laugh in the bottom of the seventh.

Wright finished the night 2-for-3 with an RBI. Gryseels was 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Slater Foust was 1-for-3 and Zack Smith was 1-for-2 with a run.

Liberty Hill out hit Llano, 6-4.

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