Where Baseball is TONS of Fun!

By Cade Haak

TEXARKANA, TX (June 27th, 2024) – Both teams battled back and forth in a dogfight that ultimately saw the Piney Woods TimberHogs outlast the Texarkana Rhinos in a game that ended 12-11. 

The Rhinos scored first in the bottom of the second inning after Neil Jansen started the inning off with a single, then was driven to third by a single from Ian Guanzon and Mason Sellers being hit by a pitch. Then, with Jansen on third, Kyle Dekerf hit a high fly ball that turned into a sacrifice fly as Jansen tagged up to score. 

Juan Murrillo then hit a two-run home run into opposite field on a fast ball that sat at the top of the strike zone. Now facing a one-run deficit, the Rhinos bounced back quickly as they put together an astounding bottom half of the third to change the flow of the game in favor of themselves. The first two runs of the inning were brought in on a double over the centerfielder’s head by Neil Jansen. Next, after a pitching change, Antonio Sabala drove in Jansen with a double of his own. After Ian Guanzon stepped up and was hit by a pitch, it was Mason Sellers who added the next RBI for Texarkana on a single that brought home Sabala. After that, Jackson Glymph hit an infield single that forced an off-balance throw from the shortstop and loaded the bases. Because of the loaded bases, both of the final two runs of the inning came from walks, as Matt Beuka and Ryan Evans were both given free trips to first base and brought in runs in the process. At the conclusion of the third inning, the score was settled at eight runs to two. 

In the fourth inning, the Rhinos then added another run to their total when Kyle Dekerf hit his second sacrifice fly of the game to allow Antonio Sabala to score. The following two innings began the comeback for the TimberHogs. They scored their third run of the game in the top of the fifth, and then were able to double their total as they scored three more in the sixth to make the score 6-9. Texarkana then immediately extended their lead to four by scoring a run in the bottom half of the frame. Antonio Sabala was able to score as he crossed home plate due to an error by the catcher. 

In the top of the eighth inning, the TimberHogs took the lead again by scoring six runs to bring their total up to twelve. This scoring outburst was highlighted by Juan Murillo’s second home run of the night. This one was crushed well over the left field fence for a two-run bomb. In the home half of the eighth, the Rhinos final push for the win came from Neil Jansens bat as the Rhinos best power hitter sent a solo shot over the fence for their 11th run of the night. 

The win on the evening went to Cade Cunningham of Piney Woods, who was able to improve his record to 1-3, and the loss went to the Rhinos’ Yuto Mimura, who fell to 0-2 on the season after allowing the final two runs of the game.

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