Madill will play at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, March 10.
MADILL — The story of Raygan Dodd's walk-off grand slam begins with a FaceTime call.
His mother, Patty, is a teacher at Madill Elementary School, which had Parent/Teacher Conferences Thursday. Christa Chapa and Dodd talked via FaceTime during the game.
Dodd walked to the plate. Chapa told Patty the bases were loaded. Dodd said grand slam. Chapa “repeated her words,” she said, adding “no pressure” shortly thereafter.
Raygan said he he heard Christa.
He delivered on his mother's prediction, culminating what he described, with a smile, as “a freak coincedence.”
Jake McHatton scattered two runs in five innings, which meant Dodd's grand slam invoked the run rule in Madill's 12-2 win against Callisburg (Texas) on Thursday at Madill High School baseball field.
Dodd — who finished with a game-high 7 RBIs — said it's his second career walk-off grand slam. He hit the first one in Little League. Now a senior, his hit helped propel the Wildcats to a semifinal of the inaugural Red River Bat Bash. Madill (1-3) will play Pottsboro (Texas) at 6:45 p.m. today.
“This one's a little better feeling, a little bit more realistic atmosphere,” Dodd said of his home run.
He took four steps before he discarded his bat and began his trot around the bases.
He acknowledged some initial doubt about whether the ball cleared the fence because “it went way up the in the air and I knew the wind was blowing earlier. I was just hoping it got out. It snuck over, I guess.”
Madill recorded a scoreless top half-inning. The Wildcats scored three runs in the home half — and three more in the second. Bret McDaniel had an infield single. Nash Matlack drew a walk. Devon Chapa deposited a sacrifice bunt. Tanner Barnes reached via a throwing error, which allowed Matlack to score, too. Dodd's RBI single culminated the three-run second frame.
Madill coach Mike Matlack praised McHatton's location.
“He was keeping the ball down in the zone,” Matlack said. “He was locating pretty good. He was throwing his breaking ball for a strike, kind of mixing it up a little bit. His location was the key to him being successful tonight.”
A member of the Ardmore Cardinals late in the 2016 American Legion baseball season, McHatton said he learned teamwork. “If the team works together and talks good on the field, they tend to do better. If the pitcher throws strikes, pitches to contact, that's basically all you need.”
Dodd's walk-off grand slam means McHatton will have greater availability later in the tournament. A pitcher does not need to take a rest if he throws 35 or fewer pitches. Throwing 36-50 pitches requires one day off. A hurler who tosses 51-75 pitches must take two days' rest; 76-100 pitches is three days and four days' rest for a pitcher who throws 101-120.
Pitcher are limited to 120 pitches.
McHatton scored Madill's seventh run and, in the fourth, drove in Dodd for the Wildcats' eighth tally.
Dodd took care of the rest.
“I think,” Dodd said, “we played well.”