Buffalo Island Central picked just the right time to put together one of their best performances of the season, advancing to the regional tournament with a convincing 10-0 whitewash of Cross County in the quarterfinals of the 2A-3 District Tournament Saturday afternoon at Rector.
Trevor Matheny fired a three hit shutout while striking out 12 Thunderbirds to pick up the victory and help push the Mustangs deeper into post season play.
BIC scored two runs in the first inning, the first on an RBI groundout off the bat of Chad Williams. The Mustang's second run was somewhat controversial as Taylor Morgan attempted to score from third base on a double steal attempt. It appeared that Morgan would be out on the ensuing run down, but the home plate umpire ruled Cross County obstructed Morgan's attempt to get back to third safely, and Morgan was awarded home plate and BIC's second run.
The Mustangs picked up another run in their next at bat. Ben Cole led off the second inning with a single to right field and advanced to second on a groundout. Cole stole third and rode home on a base hit by Matheny, giving BIC a 3-0 lead.
BIC blew the game open in the fifth inning, scoring five runs to take an 8-0 lead. Key hits in the inning included a squeeze bunt RBI single by Cole, an RBI single by Nathan Whitlow and a two-run hit off the bat of Morgan.
The Mustangs invoked the mercy rule by scoring two more runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Cole, who finished the day 3-4 at the plate.
Kade Stephens took the loss for the Thunderbirds, giving up five runs on just three hits. Stephens experienced control problems, walking five while hitting three batters. The Mustangs got five more runs off relief pitcher Tyler Moore, who surrendered five hits and five walks of his own.
The Mustangs lost to Rector in the semi-finals 11-5 Saturday night, despite a 3-3 performance at the plate from Chad Williams.
BIC will play Marked Tree Monday afternoon for third place. The Mustangs will participate in the 2A Regional Tournament this weekend at Tuckerman.