WHITEHOUSE — The Whitehouse baseball team is headed to the fourth round of the playoffs for the first time in program history.
The milestone was reached in dominant fashion.
The Wildcats raced out to a quick lead for the third consecutive game on the way to beating Red Oak, 9-0, in Game 2 of their Class 4A Region II quarterfinal Friday night.
The victory gave the state’s sixth-ranked team a sweep of the Hawks after winning 10-0 on Thursday.
Whitehouse (28-4) advances to meet No. 4 Rockwall Heath, which swept Frisco Centennial, in the regional semifinals.
Red Oak, which left the bases loaded while trailing 4-0 in the top of the fourth, completed the season 19-13.
Whitehouse’s Michael Nuon led the game off with a hit for the second straight night to set the tone. The single was followed by consecutive doubles from Alex Rostis, Aaron Clemons (RBI) and Jared Raabe (RBI) to give the Wildcats a 3-0 advantage.
Whitehouse added a run in the third, two in the fourth and another in the sixth to pull away and outscore Red Oak 19-0 in the series, a night after breaking the school record for single-season wins.
“We talked about not giving them chances in the series,” Whitehouse coach Derrick Jenkins said of Red Oak, which lost 10-0 in the first game of its bi-district series before winning the next two games. “Our kids got on them real quick and just kept going, so it’s pretty exciting. We were up 3-0 and it kind of puts you in the driver’s seat again.”
Wildcats sophomore Ryan Cheatham pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing only two hits while striking out seven. He walked the bases loaded in the fourth, but registered the final out — which represented the tying run — with a strikeout to escape the threat unharmed.
He then coasted through the final three innings, striking out five and sending the final two batters of the night down swinging. The performance came a night after fellow sophomore Patrick Mahomes shut out the Hawks in four innings before handing the ball to senior Correy Davis in the fifth.
Aaron Clemons continued to prove his value in the cleanup position Friday, putting together a 2-for-3 performance that included a pair of RBI doubles. And Rostis once again made his presence known in the third spot, going 3 for 3 with an RBI double, a two-RBI single and a walk.
Raabe and Jake Parker paired RBI doubles with RBI singles from Cheatham and Davis. Cheatham’s and Davis’ hits came in back-to-back fashion in the fifth, increasing the Wildcats’ advantage to 8-0.
Raabe, meanwhile, was hit by a pitch for the 20th time this season in the fifth.
Whitehouse and its raucous home crowd — in mostly black T-shirts for “Blackout Night” — never eased up during the game, which just like the opener ended in less than two hours. Nuon’s single to begin the first set the tone for the rest of the game, during which the home crowd tried its best to get in the heads of the visitors.
Following an RBI groundout by Mahomes that scored Nuon for the game’s first run, Rostis, Clemons and Raabe rocked Red Oak starting pitcher Dylan Morales for three consecutive doubles in a somewhat duplicate display of the night before.
And when Parker provided his RBI double to the gap in right-center in the third, the Wildcats were well on their way to their third impressive win of this postseason. They stormed ahead to a 7-0 lead in the first two innings to beat Round Rock Cedar Ridge, 9-5, in the area round, but needed to rally from three runs down for their 7-3 win against Mount Pleasant in bi-district.
The first two rounds were one-game playoffs.
Red Oak’s only threat came in the fourth when Cheatham suddenly encountered trouble finding the strike zone, walking back-to-back batters to load the bases and throwing 11 consecutive balls at one point. He was a ball away from walking in Red Oak’s first run of the series, but the Hawks’ Nolan Smith swung at ball four and missed en route to striking out.
No. 6 Whitehouse 9, Red Oak 0
Class 4A Region II Quarterfinal
Red Oak 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Whitehouse 301 221 x — 9 13 2
Dylan Morales, Riley Norwood (7) and Dustin Brundage; Ryan Cheatham and Derek Clemons.
W — Cheatham; L — Morales.
2B — W: Alex Rostis, Aaron Clemons (2), Jared Raabe, Jake Parker.
RECORDS — Red Oak 19-13; Whitehouse 28-4.
NEXT UP — Whitehouse vs. Rockwall Heath, regional semifinals.