RED OAK — Whitehouse’s Michael Nuon blasted a shot to the outfield wall and sprinted all the way to third base. The explosion came on the game’s third pitch, perhaps serving as a sign of things to come.
It was one of those kind of nights for the Wildcats, who set a school record for single-season wins and remained unbeaten in this postseason.
With a steady supply of offense and a shutdown performance on defense, Whitehouse dominated from beginning to end in the opener of this best-of-three series against Red Oak. The Wildcats needed only five innings to register a 10-0 victory in the Class 4A Region II quarterfinals Thursday at ROHS’s Buddy Groom Field.
Whitehouse finished the outing with 11 hits — many just over the heads and outstretched gloves of Hawks defenders — to take a 1-0 series lead. The sixth-ranked Wildcats (27-4) can sweep Red Oak (19-12) at 7 p.m. today at the WHS baseball Field, plus add to their school mark for wins and advance to the fourth round for the first time in program history.
“That’s a huge accomplishment,” coach Derrick Jenkins said. “We set the school record last year with 26 wins and this year, being so young, we didn’t know what to expect. Being here in the third round with 27 wins and having a chance to move on to the fourth round is pretty exciting.”
Whitehouse scored a run in the first, three in the second and third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth to put the 10-run mercy rule into effect and complete the matchup in less than two hours. Wildcats sophomore pitcher Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, threw four shutout innings while allowing only two hits and striking out three, plus escaping a bases-loaded situation in the fourth.
He also finished 2 for 3 with an RBI at the plate for Whitehouse, which was balanced throughout the lineup all game long. The other top performances were by Nuon (2 for 4, triple), Aaron Clemons (1 for 2, RBI double, walk), Jared Raabe (2 for 3, RBI), Jake Parker (1 for 1, RBI, two walks) and Correy Davis (2 for 3, RBI).
Nuon led off the game with a triple over the centerfielder’s head, and then Mahomes followed with an RBI single that skipped past the second baseman. And four pitches into the game, Whitehouse held a 1-0 lead.
Although the Wildcats hit into a double play and flew out the left to end the inning with the one-run lead, the quick start was somewhat similar to last week’s against Round Rock Cedar Ridge, which featured five runs in the first and another pair in the second.
“It makes a huge difference,” Jenkins said. “When you get out to a big lead you start dictating the game. It makes it easier on your offense.”
Whitehouse used the second this time to begin pulling away, thanks to three errors by the Hawks and an RBI single by Davis that combined to result in three runs and a 4-0 advantage. The Wildcats scored another three runs in the third, thanks to RBI singles by Parker and Derek Clemons and a wild-pitch run scored by Parker.
The Wildcats scored another two runs in the fourth via an RBI double by Aaron Clemons and an RBI single by Raabe. They came close to putting the 10-run mercy rule into effect in the inning, but left the bases loaded.
But after Mahomes escaped a bases-loaded jam thanks to a 4-6-3 double play for the final two outs, Whitehouse continued to pour on the runs in the fifth. Davis led off the inning with a single to right field and Mahomes reached on an infield single, just before Alex Rostis recorded an RBI sac grounder to make the score 10-0 with two outs.
NOTES: Today’s game is “Blackout Night” for Wildcats fans, who are asked to wear black shirts. The third-and-deciding game, if necessary, is set for 1 p.m. Saturday in Canton. The winner of the series advances to meet either Frisco Centennial or fourth-ranked Rockwall-Heath in the regional semifinals.
Whitehouse 10, Red Oak 0, 5 innings
Class 4A Region II Quarterfinal
At Buddy Groom Field, Red Oak
Whitehouse 133 21 — 10 11 0
Red Oak 000 00 — 0 2 3
Patrick Mahomes, Correy Davis (5) and Derek Clemons; Hayden Killebrew, Riley Norwood (3), Jarrod Pisors (5) and Dustin Brundage.
W — Mahomes; L — Killebrew.
3B — W: Michael Nuon.
RECORDS — Whitehouse 27-4; Red Oak 19-11.
NEXT UP — Game 2: 7 p.m. today, Whitehouse.