Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Plano East baseball eliminates state-ranked Colleyville Heritage in extras
McKINNEY — Plano East got the last of Game 3’s seven tying or go-ahead hits to defeat Colleyville Heritage, 5-4, in extra innings in the teams’ best-of-3 Class 5A area round baseball playoff series.
East’s Ryan Kravik laced a hard grounder toward right field, which bounced off the first baseman’s glove and allowed pinch runner Cooper Small to score the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth. East third baseman Jacob De La Cruz had put the potential winning run on second with a two-out double to set up the seventh lead change of the series finale.
“Before the last inning, I turned to my assistant and said, ‘However this turns out, this has been a heck of a series,’ ” East coach Travis Collins said. “We had two outs, so Cooper was running on contact, and with that you’re being aggressive and going to try and score. We preach to our kids from day one to battle and compete, and they did that the whole series. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Plano East (21-12-1) got the final out as shortstop Nick Ramos gathered a hard-hit grounder for a force-out after Heritage loaded the bases. In the seventh inning, Heritage had runners on first and third, but East reliever Alex Stuart got out of the jam with Ramos racing into short left field to catch the third out.
Ranked No. 7 in the Texas High School Coaches Association statewide baseball poll, Heritage (28-8) extended the series as third baseman Preston Palmeiro drove in three runs and junior right fielder Cody Thomas added a two-run homer in an 8-7 victory in Game 2. Heritage pitcher Brad Piper didn’t allow an earned run in 61/3 innings.
In Game 3, DH Clark Kahawaii drove in two runs to help East lead, 4-3, through four innings. Heritage tied the score, 4-4, in the bottom of the fifth as DH Brian Parks doubled and scored on a hard single by Christian Gonzales that went off the pitcher’s glove.