By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor
Baseball is a game of ups and downs, and right now the McKinney Boyd Broncos can’t seem to shake out of a pretty lengthy down.
On a chilly Friday night at Bronco Field, Boyd lost 5-2 to District 10-5A rival Plano to drop to 0-4 in District 10-5A and 8-10 overall. Plano improved to 4-0 in the district with the win.
“The ball just wasn’t falling for us,” said Boyd head coach Brooke Court. “It was one of those nights that we put everything out there and just couldn’t execute in the end.”
The loss is the ninth in the past 11 games for the Broncos, who began the year 6-1 in non-district play. After four games, Boyd remains the only team in 10-5A without a win and is one game back of both Plano East and McKinney.
After starter Adrian McFarland set down the Wildcats in order in the top of the first inning, the Broncos loaded the bases with no outs off starter Kenneth Tabor. After Jake Laster struck out swinging, Will Hollis grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate the first run of the game and give Boyd a 1-0 lead. However, the threat would end there as Fran DeJesus flew out to left field to end the inning.
“That hurt a little bit,” said Court. “We needed more than that. At that point we need to scratch two or three there and put a lot more pressure on that pitcher.”
Plano would make the Broncos pay for scoring just one run in the inning, as Tabor helped himself out with an RBI double in the top of the second, plating Michael Crawford from second base to tie the game at 1-1.
Tabor’s big day wasn’t done, as he came up in the top of the third with the bases loaded with the Wildcats trying to add on to their 2-1 lead. On the 1-1 pitch Tabor blasted one in the right-center gap, scoring all three runs that gave Plano a commanding 5-1 lead.
“They got the big hits tonight,” said Court.
McFarland’s day on the mound would be over after the big hit, but senior Carson Chilton came in a shut the Plano offense down for the final 4 1/3 innings. The Texas Tech signee allowed just one hit and struck out four to keep the Broncos in the game.
“Chilton was really good tonight. He wasn’t great his last two outings but he’s been working and really keeping the ball down,” said Court. “He is really good when he keeps the ball down. McFarland got too much of the plate tonight and didn’t get the ball in when he needed to. They hit our mistakes well and we didn’t hit their mistakes.”
Boyd’s final threat at the plate came in the sixth inning with the score still 5-1. With one out Hollis drilled a triple in the left-center field gap and would come across to score on an error by the shortstop Ryan Robertson to make it 5-2.
With Jackson at second base, McFarland would reach on a hit by pitch and Lucas Diaz would single into right field to load the bases with two outs. Stepping into the batters box was leadoff hitter Tommy Nawa, who was second on the team in hits with 18.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, Nawa struck out swinging off reliever Brad Hoeler to end the inning and keep it a three-run Plano advantage. Despite Paxton Larson reaching to lead off the seventh inning, senior Russell Williams grounded into a double play to erase the base runner and the final hopes for Boyd.
“When we get runners in scoring position we need to be able to execute with a big hit, because right now we are not,” Court said. “It feels like the world is against you right now because the big hits aren’t falling. Things have gotten better the last few games but we still aren’t executing and getting the big hits.”
While both teams committed one error in the game, Hollis’ error in left field was the 36th of the season for the Broncos, something Court says is too costly to happen in this competitive district.
“In this district, one error is costly and teams will pounce on it when it happens. It is going to come around our way at some point. We just have to keep the faith and stay together.”
On the mound McFarland was the losing pitcher for Boyd, allowing five earned runs over two and two thirds innings. Tabor was the winning pitcher for Plano, going five innings and allowing one earned run while striking out eight.
Boyd will host Allen (3-1) on Tuesday night at Bronco Field, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
For all other MISD baseball results, click here for the TSB Baseball Scoreboard or go to the TSB Sports section.