Sherman, Texas (May 25, 2024) – The Sherman Shadowcats secured both their first win and first walk-off in franchise history, winning 8-7 in the bottom of the 10th inning on Saturday night.


The Shadowcats jumped to a hot start by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first with a three-run homer by Jaylan Prince (Texas A&M Texarkana ’21), which sailed over the right-field wall to score Easton Ford (Redlands CC) and Ryan Sessions (Redlands CC), making the score 3-0.


In the bottom of the second, Sherman extended their lead further as Matt Herrera (Centenary) knocked an RBI single to first base to score Alex Rangel (Dallas College Brookhaven), moving the lead to 4-0.


Through the third and fourth innings, both sides went six up and six down as Outlaws starter Brian Wamsher (Fort Scott CC) and Shadowcats starter Keith Kennemer (North Central Texas College) found their stride.


In the bottom of the fifth, Shadowcats third baseman Anderson Acinger (LSU-Shreveport) extended their lead to five with an RBI single that caught Outlaws shortstop Manny Garcia (Missouri Baptist ’22) off balance, allowing Herrera to score, putting Sherman up 5-0 through five innings of play.


A rally started for the Outlaws in the top of the seventh as Kellen Curtis (Vernon JC) entered the game for the Shadowcats on the mound. Curtis walked Brett Sarwinski (Pittsburg State) and Manny Garcia before hitting Gabe Russell (Rogers State) with a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch was then thrown while Carter Mize (Missouri Baptist ’22) was at the plate to score Sarwinski. Curtis then walked Mize before throwing another wild pitch while CJ Cepicky (Northern Illinois) was up to bat to bring home Russell. Cepicky then hit a double that brought Mize home to make the score 5-3 Shadowcats heading to the bottom of the seventh.


The Outlaws kept their rally going in the top of the eighth as Russell ripped a two-RBI single to right center, allowing Andres Garcia (Missouri Baptist) and Sarwinski to score, tying the game at 5-5 going into the bottom of the eighth.


Joplin decided they were not done yet as they came out hot in the top of the ninth. Shadowcats reliever Clayton Merritt (Texas A&M Texarkana) came into the game for Cade Sims (Redlands CC) who loaded the bases after giving up a single and two walks. Merritt struck out the first batter putting two outs on the board but walked Andre Jackson (West Texas A&M) to score Khale Good (Cal State Monterey Bay), then hit Mize with a pitch to bring in Jackson Purcell (Central Arkansas) making the score 7-5 in favor of the Outlaws moving to the bottom of the ninth.


In the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases full, Shadowcats center fielder Jacob Eccles delivered a clutch ground ball that put Outlaws shortstop Manny Garcia in an awkward position as he picked the ball up and could not toss it to second base in time. Due to the awkward play, Acinger was safe at second, as Tyson Woodland (Centenary) and Cole Carnes (Fort Scott CC) touched home plate to tie the game back up 7-7, forcing extra innings.


Joplin couldn’t get things going in the top of the 10th as Merritt delivered a one, two, three inning setting up his team for the home half of the 10th.


The Shadowcats were looking for a walk-off as Gavin Speirs (Howard College) was placed on second due to the ghost runner in extra innings rule, and Rangel was hit by a pitch. That put Sessions up to bat, but during the at bat there was a lightning strike that lit the sky purple and delayed the game for 30 minutes. When play resumed, Sessions forced a walk for Herrera who drew a walk-off walk to win the game 8-7 after 10 innings of play.


Shadowcats pitcher Clayton Merritt was awarded the win, and the loss was given to Outlaws pitcher Triston Busse (Abilene Christian 19’).


Sherman looks to ride the high of a walk-off victory as they are set for the series finale against the Outlaws on Sunday afternoon with a chance to win the season-opening series. First pitch is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at Veterans Field.

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