In its first-ever area playoff game, the May Tigers were overwhelmed by the Borden County Coyotes in a 13-1 run-rule loss in six innings.
The Tigers were no-hit by Borden County starter Hunter Jones, who pitched a complete game and gave up just one walk on 10 strikeouts. May was also let down by its defense, which committed 10 errors in the ballgame. A big first inning from Borden County was all the Coyotes needed to pull away for the win.
The Coyotes were on the board before May had recorded a single out. Trace Richey led off the first with a walk, then quickly stole second during Jones’ at-bat in the two spot. When Jones slapped a single to left field, Richey came home for the first run of the day.
After two more walks to Ryan Willborn and Kale Yarbro, Tigers starter Cotton Bane hit Ben Justice in the leg, scoring Jones and loading the bases for Corbin Sumners. Sumners responded with an RBI grounder up the middle, which scored two runs when the Cameron King throw went wide up the third-base line.
The inning quickly escalated from there. Though Bane was able to record strikeouts of Braxton Coor and Jayton Lewis, the Coyotes tacked on five more runs behind a parade of singles, walks and two more errors from the Tigers defense. When Bane walked Willborn in his second at-bat of the inning, Tigers coach Chad Dail pulled him for Wyatt Mote, who recorded a strikeout to end the inning with an 8-0 deficit.
After the Tigers failed to respond in the bottom of the frame, Mote was able to quiet the Coyotes offense in the top of the second, working around a leadoff walk to Yarbro and striking out the next three Borden County batters in order.
The Tigers got a runner in scoring position in bottom of the second. Wayne Snell took first with two outs on a fastball to the forearm, then went to second when an attempted Yarbro pickoff sailed into right field. Andy O’Neill, though, couldn’t put bat to ball and struck out swinging to strand Snell there.
The missed opportunity proved costly when the Coyotes added to their lead in the top of the third. A third straight leadoff walk put Sumners on to start the inning, and Lewis scored two batters later when Dilian Johnston overthrew a ball to home plate trying to gun him down on a Jones single. Richey, who’d reached on a hit by pitch, also tried to score on the play but was thrown out at the plate. The inning ended with Borden County up 9-0.
Jones kept rolling for Borden County on the mound, impressively striking the side in order — all looking — in the bottom of the third. Despite a handful of baserunners, the Tigers had still not recorded a hit through three innings. The situation didn’t improve when they went down in order, on two more strikeouts, in the next frame.
Borden County nearly broke through for more runs in the fifth, but a nice Gage Keckler diving stop at short led to a double play to erase a leadoff walk. Jones then reached third base on a dropped popup for May’s sixth error of the game, but Mote induced a flyout to right to strand Jones there.
The Coyotes, though, added a final four runs in the sixth inning, a Richey double plating the final two.
To extend the contest, the Tigers needed four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Mote reached on a walk and Bane on a shortstop error before Jones induced a weak popout that he caught himself for the first out. Jones balked in Mote for the only Tigers run of the day, but struck out two May batters to end the inning and the game.