LONGVIEW — Whitehouse coach Derrick Jenkins charged third base, praising his player for turning the tide.
The Wildcats rolled from there.
Whitehouse scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to rally from a surprising three-run deficit. The Wildcats added another in the sixth to beat upset-minded Mount Pleasant, 7-3, in a Class 4A bi-district one-game baseball playoff Thursday night at Longview High School.
Whitehouse (25-4) advances to meet the winner between Forney and Round Rock Cedar Ridge — which started a best-of-three series Thursday — in the area round.
Mount Pleasant, which needed to win its regular-season finale and a one-game playoff to qualify for the postseason, completed the year 9-16-1.
Whitehouse’s Alex Rostis blasted a two-RBI triple in the fifth to make the score 3-2 Mount Pleasant, garnering a rousing ovation from the dugout and coach Jenkins.
“It was just exciting,” Jenkins said. “He got into a 3-0 count and he gave him a good pitch and he drove it. Momentum came to our side, and it got you excited in a hurry.
“When you’re down 1-0 you have leisure, but when you are down 3-0 it makes you nervous. I felt like we had to scratch out at least two runs in that inning to stay in the ball game.”
The Wildcats ended up with much more.
Rostis, a senior, was thrown out at the plate trying to tie the game a batter later, but Wildcats sophomore Jake Parker (RBI single) and senior Correy Davis (two-RBI single) supplied more offense. All of it was charged to Mount Pleasant standout sophomore Michael Kopech, who controlled Whitehouse’s bats to the tune of three hits and eight strikeouts in the first four frames.
Parker added another RBI single in the sixth to finish 2 for 4 on the night. Rostis also went 2 for 4 for the Wildcats, who had only two players with multiple hits.
Whitehouse pitcher Patrick Mahomes earned a complete-game victory to move to 9-2 on the season. The sophomore gave up an RBI double to Mount Pleasant’s Luke Hill off the wall in left field in the third and a two-RBI single to Riley Greenlee in the fifth.
But Mahomes was pretty much dominant during the other at-bats, limiting the Tigers to three hits while striking out 12 and walking five.
“He was cruising all night and had good stuff all night,” Jenkins said. “He walked (five) tonight. If he doesn’t walk batters he’s a hard guy to hit.”
The game was the third matchup between Whitehouse and Mount Pleasant this season. The Tigers won the first 4-3 with several key Wildcats still in basketball, while Whitehouse took the second 5-1 in their first game back.
The Forney-Cedar Ridge series is being held at Baylor University in Waco. Cedar Ridge won Game 1, 6-5. Game 2 is set for 8 p.m. today and Game 3, if necessary, is at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Class 4A Bi-District Baseball Playoff
At Longview High School
Whitehouse 7, Mount Pleasant 3
Mount Pleasant 001 020 0 — 3 3 1
Whitehouse 000 061 x — 7 9 1
Michael Kopech, Zach Ervin (5) and Riley Greenlee; Patrick Mahomes and Derek Clemons; W — Mahomes (9-2); L — Kopech (6-5). 2B — MP: Luke Hill. 3B — W: Alex Rostis.
RECORDS — Mount Pleasant 9-16-1; Whitehouse 25-4.
NEXT UP — Whitehouse vs. Forney Round Rock Cedar Ridge winner, area round.