The 4A UIL baseball tournament begins May 6 for the Kennedale Wildcats who completed their district season this past week with a sweep of 3rd seed Waxahachie Life. Both games with Life were close with the Wildcats winning 4-3 each time.

Order of finish for District 10-4A (top four qualify for the UIL playoffs)

  • 1. Godley Wildcats: 9-1, overall 25-3-1
  • 2. Kennedale Wildcats: 8-2, overall 16-7-2
  • 3. Waxahachie Life Mustangs: 6-4, overall 16-12-0
  • 4. Hillsboro Eagles: 4-6, overall 11-11-0
  • 5. Alvarado Indians: 3-7, overall 9-16-1
  • 6. Venus Bulldogs: 0-10, overall 1-18-0

The UIL playoffs opponents have not been published as of yet – UIL Baseball Brackets

Game Story – Kennedale vs Life (Friday, April 21, 2023, @ Kennedale)

These two teams were fairly evenly matched as attested by their above records and in the games they played against each other this season. As reported by the Kennedale News this past week the first game went to the 7th inning before it was settled and after Life had jumped on Kennedale first with 3 runs before the Cats could get a run across in the top of the fifth. In both games, strong pitching kept it close.

In the game on Friday, the Waxahachie Life Mustangs once again jumped out to an early lead of 2-0 in the top of the 2nd before Kennedale could put three across in the bottom of the 3rd. Life matched Kennedale in the 5th with a run. But the Wildcats reclaimed the lead for good in the bottom of the 6th with a single score and then shut down the Mustangs’ effort with three straight strikeouts by relief pitcher Nevyn Johnson.

By inning …

1st INNING: Life had four batters in the first with only one getting on base by a walk while three others fell on 2 pops and one grounder. Pitching for Kennedale was Addison Jaime. The Wildcats faired worse in their turn at-bats as they went in order with no one reaching first.

2nd INNING: This one goes to Life as they were able to score two runs. It was helped by two consecutive errors by Kennedale’s infield that allowed two to get on base. The next Mustang batter grounded out but moved the base runners to 2nd and 3rd. A third error by the Wildcats allowed the next batter to reach first while a run scored. Following another groundout, a second Mustang runner scored. The ending closed with a final groundout. For Kennedale’s pitcher, it wasn’t a bad outing. Life never got the ball off the ground nor out of the infield but 3 infield mistakes helped put the Mustangs on the board.

In the bottom of the inning, Kennedale did reach the base twice after a flyout was followed by a walk by Dylan Harrison and a single by Addison Jamie. However, a groundout and a strikeout followed to leave both stranded. SCORE: 2-0 Mustangs

Cats make a move …

3rd INNING: The 3rd inning was a non-starter for the Mustangs as Jaime dismissed their three batters, all on flyouts.

In the bottom of the inning, Kennedale suffered two flyouts before they mounted their comeback bid. Nevyn Johnson singled to center. Jake Cantu was at bat when Johnson reached second on a wild pitch and followed that with a steal of third. Cantu then contributed with a single, which scored Johnson. E Massey then got a walk. A single by Dylan Harrison scored Ryan Dembroski (in as a courtesy runner for Cantu) scored and Massey moved to third. A dropped third strike by Life allowed the next batter, Addison Jamie, to reach first and Hayden Swenson (courtesy runner for Massey) to score. The inning ended on a following Wildcat groundout. SCORE: 3-2 Kennedale

4th INNING: It was a wash for both teams as Life went out in three (Jamie pitching) and Kennedale went in four (Scout Steinhilber walked but was left stranded). SCORE 3-2 Kennedale

Tie game …

5th INNING: In the top of the inning, the Mustangs after two outs, hit a double which was followed by a fielder’s choice which led to a Life score. The followed batter hit a third-out grounder, leaving one stranded. In the bottom, the Cats went in order on two groundouts and a flyout. SCORE: 3-3

6th INNING: Life had a big missed opportunity but it was the Wildcats that scored. In the top of the inning, Life’s first batter reached on an infield error by the Cats. A walk was then followed by a hit-by-pitch and the bases were loaded for the Mustangs. Kennedale dug themselves out of this hole, first with a pick-off at third (Steinhilber @ catcher to Saenz @ third) for the first out followed by a Jamie strikeout and then a first-pitch flyout (N Johnson) for the third out.

Breathing a big sigh of relief, Kennedale picked up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the inning with a walk (Chase Evans), a groundout that advanced Evans to third, and a sacrifice fly (Josh Saenz) that scored Evans. Scout Steinhilber had a walk but was left stranded by a 3rd-out grounder. SCORE: 4-3 Kennedale

And, that would be the game as the Mustangs went three up and three down in the top of the 7th.

Winning pitcher for Kennedale: Addison Jamie – 6 innings, 3 runs on one hit, and 2 strikeouts on 83 throws & 60 strikes. In relief: Nevyn Johnson – 1 inning, no runs, no hits, and 3 strikeouts on 14 throws & 9 strikes.

Kennedale individual batting stats: Nevyn Johnson – 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk; Jake Cantu – 1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 stolen base; Dylan Harrison – 1 hit, 1 RBI, 1 walk; Addison Jamie – 1 hit; Scout Steinhilber – 2 walks; Ryan Dembroski – 1 run; Evan Massey – walk; Hayden Swenson – 1 run; Josh Saenz 1 RBI.

Kennedale Team: 4 runs on 4 hits, 3 RBIs, 6 walks & 3 strikeouts
Life Team Stats: 3 runs on 1 hit, 3 RBI, 2 walks & 5 strikeouts

Note: It was incorrectly reported in an earlier article that Head Coach Paul Trantham was retiring. That reference has been removed from that article and noted here.