WHITEHOUSE - Bryce Cundieff’s first start of the season did not go well back in February - the Whitehouse senior didn’t even last an inning.
“Ever since that every day before my start I’m like, ‘I’m going to throw a gem today,’” Cundieff said.
He did just that on Tuesday.
Cundieff struck out eight and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning to help Whitehouse top Corsicana 5-3 in a key District 17-5A baseball battle.
The Wildcats (18-5, 6-1) edged ahead of the Tigers (16-6, 5-2) to break what was a three-way tie for first. Whitehouse now shares the district lead with Lindale, which beat Jacksonville on Tuesday.
Patrick Miner pitches against Corbin Hall when the Wildcats and Tigers face off in Corsicana on Friday. Whitehouse finishes the season with a two-game series against Lindale next week.
“Our goal is the district championship and ultimately we’ve got to win out,” said Miner, who earned the save Tuesday. “This game was the first step.”
Cundieff, an Arkansas-Monticello signee, allowed two earned runs on one hit and five walks.
“That kid right there has been unbelievable this year,” Whitehouse coach Derrick Jenkins said.
A lefty, Cundieff threw 65 of his 109 pitches for strikes and didn’t allow a hit until Juan Lopez smacked a single to right field with one out in the seventh.
“I didn’t think about (the no-hitter) until I gave up the hit,” Cundieff said. “I could honestly care less about the no-hitter. The win’s the only thing that matters to me right now.”
After walking the next batter, Cundieff gave way to Miner, who allowed an RBI single by Hall before shutting things down with a fielder’s choice and a strike out to end the game.
In the first meeting between the two since a 2-0 Whitehouse win in the Class 5A regional quarterfinal playoffs last year in Corsicana, the teams were tied 2-2 until the Wildcats broke through in their final at bat.
Whitehouse stranded eight runs in the first five innings but came through with the hits they coveted in the sixth.
Skyler Trevino led the inning off with a single up the middle and Clayton Pruitt nearly reached on a bunt. After Tanner Roach was hit by a pitch, slugger Mason House drilled a double to center field that bounced over the fence to score Trevino.
Fiver Trimble followed that up with a single up the middle to bring home Roach and House for a 5-2 lead.
House finished 2 for 3 with an intentional walk, double, triple, run and RBI.
“He’s been so close to being really, really good and today he kind of broke out,” Jenkins said of House. “The closer we get to playoffs and bigger games, the bigger he is.”
The first four runs of the games were all scored without the direct aid of a hit.
Corsicana took a 1-0 lead when Ty Nolen scored on a wild pitch. The Tigers’ next run came when Jack Kennemore came home on a suicide squeeze by Dawson Woods on a 1-2 count.
Brandon Quarles hit a ground-rule double, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by Tanner Roach for Whitehouse’s first run. The Wildcats tied the game at 2-2 when Patrick Miner singled, went to third on a Brandon Rossiter double and came home on a wild pitch in the third.
“We won today but we’ve got to go there Friday and make a statement that we’re the best team here,” Jenkins said.
TWITTER : @TYoestingETFS
Whitehouse 5, Corsicana 3
Corsicana 011 000 1 - 3 2 1
Whitehouse 011 003 x - 5 7 1
Colten Davis, Micah Burke (2), Eric Maler (6) and Dawson Woods. Bryce Cundieff, Patrick Miner (7) and Fiver Trimble.
W – Cundieff. L – Maler. S – Miner.
2B – WH: Brandon Quarles, Brandon Rossiter, Mason House. 3B – WH: Mason House.
RECORDS - Corsicana 16-6 (5-2); Whitehouse 18-5 (6-1).
NEXT UP - Whitehouse at Corsicana, 7 p.m. Friday.