The McKinney Marshals pounded out 15 hits against eight Denton Outlaw pitchers and became the first home team to win a game in the three-year history of the Texas Collegiate League Playoffs with an 11-1 triumph Friday night at Gabe Nesbitt Field.
As the scene shifts to round two at Denton Ryan High School Baseball Field Saturday at 7:35 p.m. (CDT), McKinney brought home teams' marks to 1-6 since the championship series started in 2004.
During those games Coppell won twice at Graham and lost to the Roughnecks at home in '04, and the Marshals fell two times to Denton in McKinney last season while winning the lone contest at Denton.
It was a totally different story Friday, however, as the Marshals struck for seven runs and sent 12 hitters to the plate to put the 2006 championship series out of reach in the bottom of the fourth inning. The 10-run final margin was the largest in 20 all-time postseason games. Earlier this year, Denton's 9-0 triumph over Graham and McKinney's 10-1 decision at Coppell represented record nine-run victories for any teams in the postseason. None of the six previous TCL championship playoff games had been decided by more than two runs.
In the fateful fourth catcher Craig Stinson (Texas A&M) began the merry-go-round with a RBI single before Luke Salas (Pepperdine) doubled off the left field wall to rive in two more tallies. Aaron Grijalva (Liberty) also produced a two-run single to highlight the six-hit frame.
Though they were not needed in the final outcome, the Marshals struck for three more runs on the bottom of the seventh on Matt Cavagnaro's (Penn State) two-run double and a RBI groundout by catcher Matt Smith (Texas Tech) for the 11th run.
First baseman Trevor Head (Dallas Baptist) smashed a solo homer - his second dinger in the playoffs after a grand slam against Graham last Monday night - off winning pitcher Jonathan Runnels (San Jacinto CC) for the lone run on four hits for the Outlaws. Craig Corrriston (Paris JC) added another single in the ninth off relief man Thomas Miller (Stephen F. Austin) after Runnels came out with four strikeouts, one walk, one earned run, and three hits allowed over the first innings.
If a third game is necessary (and the first two TCL championship playoffs went the full three contests), it will be played at 7:05 p.m. (CDT) Sunday in McKinney at Gabe Nesbitt Field.