Sometime during the final innings of Game 2 of the Region IV-6A third-round series between Reagan and Smithson Valley, the discussion of pushing up the impending Game 3 was broached in the press box at SAISD Sports Complex.
Then the seventh inning started. When it ended, nobody was worried about when it might rain on Saturday. A Saturday game was no longer necessary.
On the other side of town, Johnson was on the verge of handing O’Connor back-to-back losses for the only time this season.
And we haven’t even started talking about the rest of the weekend. Let’s get the Rewind going. There’s a lot of ground to cover.
Reagan d. Smithson Valley, 11-0, 6-5
As the scores indicate, Game 2 was more indicative of what most expected when these two teams were pitted against each other in the bracket. Game 1 was an anomaly all around. There were ejections, a rough outing by Smithson Valley senior Cole McKay (he was one of those ejections) a crowd that was described as immature by one of the folks at the ballpark and a resounding Reagan win. Game 2 was the complete opposite of that. Both teams played exceptionally well, and Smithson Valley’s offense, led by a resilient McKay, responded against Reagan junior Andres Sosa. But Reagan rallied and scored four runs in the seventh inning to sweep the Rangers. Reagan catcher Leyton Leone hit the walk-off single that capped the incredible rally.
Johnson d. O’Connor, 2-0, 9-3
When Johnson played its final game of the regular season, the Jaguars were staring at District 26-6A’s No. 4 seed and a first-round matchup with SmithsonValley. Fast forward a few weeks. The Jaguars ousted the state’s fifth-ranked 6A team and now carry a ton of momentum into this weekend’s series against Edinburg. O’Connor went undefeated during the regular season but needed a third game to knock out East Central and MacArthur in the first two rounds. In the third round, the Panthers ran into a solid Johnson pitching staff featuring lefties Ryan Dubbels (senior, Incarnate Word signee) and Richard Gilbert (sophomore, committed to Texas). O’Connor’s runs in the fifth inning of Game 2 snapped Johnson’s 24-inning scoreless streak. That’s some solid stuff.
Alamo Heights d. Dripping Springs, 4-1, 1-2, 1-0
The Mules only scored five runs in this series and managed to find a way to the IV-5A semifinals to face Calallen this weekend. How? Well, Alamo Heights’ starting pitchers are pretty good. Junior Forrest Whitley, a Florida State pledge, struck out 14 batters in a Game 1 complete-game win. Junior Jack Woodland pitched 10(!!) scoreless innings in Game 2 but was rendered a no-decision after Dripping Springs won with two runs in the 12th inning. Alamo Heights coach Jason Thompson opted to use senior James Nittoli (Texas) on Saturday in a game filled with lightning delays. Nittoli went 5 1/3 innings in that win. Yeah, I’d say that’s a pretty salty pitching rotation.
Georgetown d. Boerne Champion, 2-0, 2-6, 5-4
This must have been a tremendous series. The run that eliminated the District 27-5A co-champions came in the eighth inning of Game 3, ending the chances of a possible All-District 27-5A regional final featuring Champion and Alamo Heights. That’s looking far down the line, but I think it could have happened. After being shutout for the first 12 innings of this series, Champion exploded for five runs in sixth of inning of Game 2 that forced a decisive Game 3. Champion led on two separate occasions in Game 3 but Georgetown scratched single runs in the sixth and eighth innings to face Mission Memorial in the final. With juniors Charlie Shipp and John Weber potentially returning, coach Chuck Foster’s squad will be anxiously waiting for the chance to make a similar run in 2016.
Comfort d. El Maton Tidehaven 6-1, 8-2
We haven’t talked much about Comfort this year, but I guess it’s time to change that. Comfort rolled over El Maton Tidehaven and is the last area team still with a chance at a 3A state title. A ton of that can be attributed to junior Keaton Petty, who has a 1.24 ERA this year and 6.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio (that’s not too shabby). Senior Justin Faulkner also went a combined 4-for-6 at the plate and drove in three runs for Comfort, which faces Bishop in the Region IV-3A finals. The winner faces Georgetown Gateway or Banquete. Comfort and Gateway were in the same district. Gateway won the season series 2-1, but one of those wins was in a non-district tournament.
Kenedy d. Center Point, 3-1
We talked about this one-game playoff last week after senior standout Dominic Cruz tossed another gem on the mound with his bionic left arm against previously undefeated Center Point (read that here). Kenedy plays Flatonia this weekend in the IV-2A semifinals. Here’s that schedule:
Game 1: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, San Marcos
Game 2: 2 p.m., Saturday, San Marcos
Game 3 (if necessary): 30 minutes following Game 2
Article courtesy of Ben Baby SA Express News.