Eddie Cornblum knows his guys just proved to themselves that they can come back against anyone in the state of Texas. While Midway came up short on the scoreboard with a 6-5 loss to Flower Mound Marcus Thursday night, the Panthers showed plenty of grit with an inspiring two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“Our guys never quit,” Cornblum said. “It’s been the characteristic of our program and our team this year that we fight to the end. We showed that. Two outs in the bottom of the seventh and we score three with the tying run on second. That’s been the approach of this program and this team all year and I couldn’t be more proud of them. We have to win two anyway. We’ll just take care of business on Friday and Saturday instead of Thursday and Friday.”
The rally began when Elijah Rodriguez singled and then JJ Davis walked to put two runners on. Then Cooper Cornblum reached base safely when he hit a grounder to shortstop but the Marcus first baseman stepped off the bag.
Trip Clark then stepped to the plate and roped a double out to right field which cleared the bases to cut a Marcus lead that was four at the beginning of the inning down to one.
Midway jumped out to a two-run lead before Marcus ever got on the board. The Panthers plated a run each in the second and third innings. The first run came home for Midway when JJ Davis scored when Chance Muschaweck grounded out to second. Another groundout to second — this time in the third inning by Elijah Rodriguez — scored Riley Lambert.
Flower Mound Marcus had just one hit through the first three innings against pitcher Will Rigney and the Midway defense. But then came the fourth inning, and the top of the frame seemed to last forever for the Midway faithful that overflowed from the stands, to beside the dugout and even stretched down the fence.
Marcus loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fourth — off a double, a walk and a single — before Zach Jordan belted a two-run single to the outfield to get the Marauders on the board. That started a trend of three straight runs crossing the plate for Marcus as Dimitri Petredees scored off a single by Will Harrison, Jordan came across off a sacrifice fly to right field and Will Harrison came home off a wild pitch. Brett Hedges scored the final run of the inning for Marcus when Jackson Berry, who replaced Will Rigney on the mound two-thirds of the way through the inning, balked.
“I know people always talk about they play for the big inning. They did. They had the six spot in the fourth. We hung in there. We didn’t quit. We’ll see what we can do Friday.”
Those were the only runs that Marcus were able to get across the plate.
The second game of the best-of-three series will be played at 7p.m. Friday at Flower Mound Marcus. If Midway wins that contest, the third and final game of the series will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday in Cleburne.
“It’s huge because they just proved to themselves that no matter what the score is or how many outs there or how far they’re back, they just keep playing and they keep fighting,” Cornblum said. “I couldn’t be prouder. I know we got the short end of this one.”