HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Wolfforth Frenship receives lift in fifth, sixth innings to defeat Odessa High

The Wolfforth Frenship team scored the first five and the final eight runs during its District 2-6A contest with Odessa High.

However, between those 13 runs, the Bronchos grabbed a 6-5 lead after Jacob Munoz hit a two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Tigers responded with back-to-back four-run frames in the fifth and sixth innings en route to a 13-6 victory over Odessa High on Friday at Pressly Field.

“We just kind of got outclassed by a team with way more depth in the bullpen and they got a lineup one through nine,” Odessa High head coach Josh Hulin said. “We just got beat by a much better team today.”

The Bronchos wrapped up a week that included 22 innings that spanned over four district contests. Odessa High dropped to 15-10 overall and 5-4 in District 2-6A, while Wolfforth Frenship improved to 15-10 and 7-2.

Odessa High went 1-3 in district play on the week and the team went from a tie for first place in the district to fourth. Munoz said the team can’t dwell on the past week, but look forward to the final six district contests. The Bronchos are currently three games up and hold the tiebreaker on Amarillo Tascosa for the fourth and final playoff spot.

“We knew this week was going to be tough and we’ve been trying to prepare for this for a long time,” Munoz said. “We just have to move on from this.

“We played real well, but overall they hit better than us. We didn’t execute everything that we needed to do.”

Despite coming away with five runs in the first three innings, the Tigers had plenty of chances to do more damage. Frenship left a total of nine runners on base in the first four innings.

The Tigers didn’t have those same struggles in the final three innings as they left three runners on base. Frenship finished a total of 14 hits, which included six for extra bases.

“Baseball is a funny game,” Frenship head coach Chad Reynolds said. “Sometimes everything goes right and sometimes nothing goes right. Today, there was a little bit of all of that throughout the whole game. We had some guys hit the ball really hard at some people and then we had some guys that didn’t and they would fall (for hits). Fortunately, we were able to have a good fifth and sixth inning to take the lead and go on and get a win.”

Odessa High had trouble finding gaps. The only extra base hit came from Munoz on the two-run home run. The Bronchos finished with 10 hits and left seven runners on base.

Wolfforth Frenship junior left-handed pitcher Brock Erculiani picked up the win on the mound after he finished the final 3 1/3 innings. He allowed two hits and struck out one on 42 pitches. Conley Green, who started the contest for the Tigers, was hit in the forearm by a line drive from Andres Martinez and wasn’t able to finished the fourth inning.

Odessa High starting pitcher Shandon Herrera lasted two innings. He gave up four runs and six hits on 58 pitches. The right-handed senior needed more than 27 pitches to get out of the first and second innings. The Bronchos pieced together the final five innings with three pitchers. Damien Aspeitia was tagged with the loss after he allowed the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.

In addition to losing three straight district contests, the Bronchos will also be without senior Robert Morales. Hulin believes Morales will likely be out for the remainder of the season with an injury. Morales, who is the team’s starting shortstop, could also serve as a starter or reliever on the mound.

“Robert is hurt and we have no timeline for him getting back,” Hulin said. “Honestly, we aren’t counting on him playing the rest of the year.”

Odessa High continues its season traveling to Midland High at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Bulldogs are 12-12 overall and 6-3 in district play. Midland High shut out Odessa High 4-0 in their first meeting of the season on March 18.

“This could be a lesson for us, but we have to move on and get better,” Munoz said. “We have to work for the next games ahead.”

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