HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Bronchos can’t complete comeback against Midland Legacy

The Odessa High baseball team couldn’t secure a second straight win over Midland Legacy, falling by a 13-10 score in the second game of their District 2-6A series Friday at Pressly Field.

The Bronchos battled back to make it a close game in the fifth inning, but couldn’t find consistency on the mound to complete the comeback.

“We weren’t throwing strikes, that was the bottom line,” Odessa High baseball coach Josh Hulin said. “We gave them a ton of free bases, something like 15 walks today.

“It’s just a recipe for disaster.”

Odessa High found itself in trouble early after surrendering four runs in the top of the first, but responded quickly in the bottom of the frame.

The Bronchos brought in three runs, recording two hits to narrow the deficit and apply some pressure on the visitors.

Although the quick bounce back gave Odessa High some confidence, the Rebels increased their advantage in the top of the second with a two-run homer from ace pitcher Chase Shores over the right field barrier.

Midland Legacy scored again when Kaine Franco singled on a line drive to left field, bringing Carson Lauderdale in before the half inning ended.

Jayven Gonzales reached home plate for the Bronchos in the bottom of the second to help his team cut the lead again, but they struggled to create consistent impact plays on offense.

It took some time for Shores to find a rhythm, but he showed how dangerous his pitching can be by striking out six batters through the third and fourth innings.

He recorded four consecutive strikeouts before Jairo Guerrero singled to centerfield in the bottom of the fifth.

The Bronchos went on to score three runs in the inning, with an RBI single from Isaac Rodriguez bringing in Joeluis Charles and Wiki DeLeon to cut the Midland Legacy advantage down to one.

After the scoring burst, Odessa High was starting to pick up steam in hopes of jumping ahead.

Alek Kowalczyk came in to spell Shores on the mound and he helped hold the Bronchos off with two strikeouts before a pickoff at second base sent it to the sixth.

A solo homer from Shores in the top of the sixth was one of the two scores the Rebels recorded to get some breathing room.

Midland Legacy went on to outscore Odessa High 5-3 in the game’s final two innings to tie the series record.

The Bronchos won the first contest 11-4 Tuesday on the road.

“There’s no disappointment at all in the effort that we gave,” Hulin said. “We came back and made it an 8-7 game, I’d say this loss is probably on me.

“I just made some bad decisions on using our bullpen, the guys did everything they could and the coach let them down today.”

Odessa High (10-10-1 overall, 2-6 district) will close out the series with Midland Legacy (13-6, 4-3) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ernie Johnson Field in Midland.

>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya