The McLennan Highlanders stayed alive in the Region V Tournament with a 9-2 win over the New Mexico Thunderbirds this afternoon in Lubbock. Logan Freeman picked up the win on the mound for the Highlanders, pitching eight innings.

New Mexico began the scoring with one run in the bottom of the first. Chase Whetsel was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning. Jake Dickerson singled and Ryan Rijo drew a walk to load the bases. Whetsel then scored on a ground out by Gavin Johnson.

McLennan tied the game with a run in the bottom of the second as Nick Thornquist singled, moved to second on the walk of Mario Vela and scored on a single by George Callil.

The Highlanders broke the game open with five runs in the fifth. Callil, Joe Breaux and Josh Breaux all walked to load the bases. Brendan Venter was hit by the pitch, bringing Callil in to score. Cole Haring followed with a grand slam.

McLennan added a run in the sixth as Callil singled, moved around to third on two wild pitches and scored on a single by Josh Breaux.

Two more Highlander runs scored in the top of the ninth. Thornquist tripled and scored on a single by Vela. Vela then moved to second on a single by Callil, advanced to third on a fielder's choice by Chris Roller and scored on a wild pitch.

New Mexico rounded out the scoring with a run in the bottom of the ninth. Riley Peterson singled, Larry Leitha was hit by the pitch and Levi Dixon singled to load the bases. Peterson then scored on a ground out by Whetsel.

McLennan advances in the loser's bracket and will face Odessa in an elimination game at 8 p.m. tonight.

McLennan 9, New Mexico 2
McLennan 010 051 002 – 9 12 0
New Mexico 100 000 001 – 2 7 0
Logan Freeman, Connor Heffron (9) and Nick Thornquist. Alex Pinedo, Chris Jefferson (6), Luke Manuel (9) and Jose Rodrigo Avina. WP: Freeman; LP: Pinedo. Leading hitters – McLennan: Chris Roller (3-6, 2B), Josh Breaux (1-2, RBI), Brendan Venter (0-4, RBI), Cole Haring (1-5, HR, 4 RBI), Nick Thornquist (3-4, 3B), Mario Vela (1-4, RBI) and George Callil (3-4, RBI); New Mexico: Chase Whetsel (0-4, RBI), Gavin Johnson (1-4, RBI), Riley Peterson (2-4) and Levi Dixon (2-4). Record: McLennan 47-11 (26-6).