BY MIKE PHILLIPS / Corsicana Sun —
Talk about a grand finish to a long day.
How about a Grand-off? Or maybe a Slam-off?
Kyle Landers jumped on the first pitch he saw from North Central’s Derek Potts, belting a walk-off grand slam that lifted Navarro to a 10-6 non-conference win Monday afternoon at Graham Field, where the Bulldogs leaped for joy along with Landers, who hit the only pitch he saw all day.
But there he was pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth, going deep for the first time this season. He drove in four runs and now has 10 RBI for the season.
But that’s baseball and it’s not what you do as much as when you do it, and Landers stepped up and was the man for a Bulldog team that seems to find new heroes every time they take the diamond.
The victory goes in the non-conference books, but it felt as sweet as any win this season. The ‘Dawgs are hot right now and after starting on a bumpy road of ups and downs. They have now won eight of their last 10, including a 7-2 record in the Region XIV race, where they are tied for first in Zone play after winning their first three series.
They just returned from Louisiana, where they took two of three conference games from Bossier Parish, scoring 30 runs on 31 hits. Their bats were still alive Monday when they scored four runs in the first inning. They needed them after starter Trey Becerra gave up four runs in the top of the first.
It took five pitchers to get this one, and Asher Cook, who has been brilliant in his closer’s role all year, got the win after striking out the side in a perfect ninth inning. He watched Landers’ home run shot as keenly as anyone.
Kalen Hammer and Matt Wood had big days at the plate, each going 2-for-3 with RBIs. Tim Bechtold doubled and scored and Derek Mueller also doubled. Scott Hastings had an RBI single and Beau Orlando drove in the tying run in the eighth inning on a ground out.
The Bulldogs (16-13) get back to East Zone play with a 3 pm home game against Panola on Thursday and complete the series with a 1 pm Saturday doubleheader at Carthage.