Trailing 3-1, the Houston High School baseball team scored 3 runs the bottom of the fifth inning and added 3 more in the sixth to earn a come-from-behind victory over Mansfield in the final regular season game of the year Tuesday at Tiger Field.

The Diamond Tigers got on the board first with a run in the second inning when sophomore Aiden Kelly smacked a 2-out single to center field, stole second base and then scored on a double to center by junior Danny Venable.

The visiting Lions took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth with a rally including 3 singles, a walk and a run-scoring fielder’s choice.

But Houston put up 3 runs on only 1 hit in the bottom of the frame – a double by junior Ryan Wolfe – taking advantage of 3 walks and a passed ball that brought home Wolfe.

The Tigers then increased their advantage to 7-3 with a 2-out rally in bottom of the sixth inning. The decisive spurt began when senior Wiley Sisco singled to center field and junior Garyn Hall followed with another single to center. Wolfe then cracked a double to left to drive in Sisco and send Hall to third.

After Hall scored on an error, junior third baseman Casey Merckling drove in Wolfe with an infield single.

Houston had 10 hits in the game, as Hall, Venable and Wolfe each had 2-hit outings.

Sophomore Wyatt Hughes stated on the mound for the Tigers and went 5 full innings, allowing 7 hits while striking out 5 and walking only 1. Sisco worked the final 2 frames, giving up only 1 hit while fanning 3 and not issuing a walk.

Next up for the Tigers (16-6) is the Class 3 District 9 Tournament at Hartville. Houston is seeded third in the 5-team bracket and will face No. 2 Hartville (14-7) in a semifinal game at 4 p.m. Monday.

In the other semifinal (set for 2 p.m. Monday), top-seeded Licking (16-4) will take on the winner of a first round game between fourth-seeded Mansfield (7-11) and No. 5 Liberty (6-11) that will be played at noon Saturday. The district championship game is set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday (May 17).

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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