ENNIS, Texas — Texas High took leads of 3-0, 6-1 and 7-2, but Ennis rallied for nine runs in the fifth and won Game 1 of the Class 5A area best-of-3 series.
The Lions sent 13 batters up in the fifth and went on to win the opener, 11-8, Thursday at Lion Field.
Game 2 is schedule for 7 p.m. today at Tiger Field. If a third game is needed, it will be played at noon Saturday at McKinney Boyd High School.
The Tigers held all the momentum early and sent eight batters to the plate in the top of the first inning, taking an early 3-0 lead.
Ben DePriest was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, and a sacrifice bunt resulted in a throwing error to put two on. Rian Cellers lined a double into the right field corner to drive in the first run.
A passed ball scored Trey Lavender, and Cellers scored on Luke Smith's bunt single to third.
Smith threw 82 pitches in 4-plus innings and took a no-decision. He struck out three, walked five, allowed six hits and three runs — two earned.
Ennis reliever Porfirio Mendez earned the pitching win, working five innings of 7-hit ball, struck out three and walked three, throwing 85 pitches.
Smith worked out of a self-induced jam in the bottom of the first. The junior righty issued a trio of two-out walks to load the bases, but a ground ball to third ended the threat with no damage.
Ashton Ehly legged out an infield hit to start the Lions' half of the second inning. He advanced on a wild pitch, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when the throw on the play bounced into left field for an error. Ennis got runners on the corners with two outs but a grounder to first base spoiled the opportunity.
Jackson Halter walked to start the Tigers' third inning, and Zane Dodson lined a single to center. Smith bunted for a hit, and a throwing error allowed a run to score and left runners at second and third, prompting a pitching change.
With two outs, Caden Miller belted a stand-up double over the right fielder's head to make it 6-1.
The Lions got two-out singles by Eric Stanley, Ehly and pinch-hitter Ryan Diaz to plate a run in the bottom of the third.
Miller smashed a doubled over the left fielder's head in the fifth inning for Texas High, advanced on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch for a 7-2 lead.
A walk to start the bottom of the fifth ended Smith's night on the mound, and Ehly singled off reliever Robert Cheney. The next batter was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and a balk brought in a run.
A groundout scored another to make it 7-4, and Jeremiah Sanchez lined a hit to left to drive in the third run of the inning. Lorenzo Leila legged out an infield hit, and a wild pitch moved both runners up before Clayton Jenkins' RBI single brought the score to 7-6.
Luke Regas welcomed Sawyer Pritchard, the second reliever of the inning for THS, with an RBI double to left-center to tie the game. A walk loaded the bases again, and Stanley singled to left to give the Lions the lead. The fourth free pass of the inning made it 9-7.
Two more runs came across before the Tigers got out of the innings.
Miller, who was 4 for 4 with two doubles, singled in the seventh and scored on Lavender's single to left after DePriest beat out an infield hit. THS stranded two on in the inning and 11 for the game.