It was Kris Jenkins to the rescue for the Denton Outlaws on Friday night in the opener of the 2005 Texas Collegiate League Championship Series at McKinney.
The outfielder from Illinois State drove in the game-tying run with a single in the 9th inning, then had a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th to give the Outlaws a 5-4 victory over the McKinney Marshals.
The "Highway 380 Series" moves west to Denton on Saturday night, when McKinney's Kenn Kasparek faces Eddie Degerman of the Outlaws in a 7:35 p.m. contest.
In both innings Jenkins' heroics came against McKinney closer Bryce Cox, who had converted all 8 of his save tries this summer before the blown opportunity on Friday. The righthander from Rice allowed 2 hits and 2 runs while walking 2 and hitting 4 batters in his 2.2 inning stint while taking the loss.
Meanwhile the Denton bullpen threw 5.1 scoreless innings versus the Marshals. Jordon Street worked 3.1 shutout frames before Jordan Davis blanked McKinney over the final 2 innings to earn the victory.
Denton jumped put to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st on Josh Banda's 2-run homer off Jake Arietta. The Outlaws made it 3-0 on Elvis Herrera's rbi single in 2nd. McKinney then scored one run in each of the next 4 innings. Matt Smith had a solo homer in the 2nd inning and Louie Alamia and Matt Cavagnaro produced run-scoring singles in the 3rd and 4th frames.
The Marshals took their 1st lead in the 5th, when Scott Gaffney walked off Street with the bases loaded to make it 4-3. Street would retire the final 10 men he faced after allowing that bases on balls.
Cox opened the 9th by hitting Philip Stringer with a pitch. He was sacrificed to second and scored on Jenkins' single. McKinney has 2 on and one out in the bottom of the 9th but could not score. Banda reached on an infield hit to open the 10th and after a sacrifice, Cox hit Stringer and Herrera to load the bases. Jenkins followed with a fly to left which scored Banda with the winning run. Davis then retired the Marshals in order in the bottom of the inning as Denton defeated McKinney for only the 2nd time in sevem meetings in 2005.
Jenkins was 2-2 with 2 singles, a hit by pitch, a walk, and a sac fly in his 5 plate appearances. Denton starter Blake Kronkosky issued 7 hits and 4 runs in 4.2 innings.
Matt Cavagnaro continued his hot playoff hitting for McKinney, going 3-5 with an rbi. Arietta permitted 5 hits and 3 runs (2 er) with 5 strikeouts in 6.1 innings.
GAME ONE NOTES: The road team has now won all four Championship Series games in the TCL's 2-year history. Coppell (2) and Graham (1) were victorious away from home in 2004. McKinney DH Louie Alamia was ejected for arguing a play at 1st base in the 6th inning. Per TCL rules, he will sit out Saturday's Game 2. The start of the game was delayed 45 minutes due to work on the Gabe Nesbitt Field playing surface as a result of strong afternoon thunderstorms. Saturday's game will be broadcast on the internet on www.tsrnsports.com and www.ccir.us.