Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Rockwall forces deciding game, can't overcome The Woodlands' 7-run third inning in 12-6 loss
AUSTIN — The Woodlands, the state’s top-ranked Class 5A baseball team, scored seven runs in the pivotal third inning of the deciding game Saturday and outlasted Rockwall, 12-6, to win the Region II championship at the University of Texas’ Disch-Falk Field.
In a series that came down to the last pitcher standing and with both teams using position players on the mound, The Woodlands took better advantage of its opportunities. In the crucial uprising in the third inning, the Highlanders used four hits, four walks and two hit batsmen from three Rockwall pitchers to erase a five-run deficit.
Take away two innings in the three-game series — a 12-run frame in Friday’s opening-game loss and the seven-run outburst Saturday — and Rockwall would be the team playing in the state tournament next week rather than The Woodlands. Rockwall forced a third and deciding game earlier Saturday with a 7-1 victory.
In the final game, Rockwall (34-9) looked to be in command when it forged a 6-1 lead in the third on an RBI single by Dustin Angiel, a bases-loaded walk to Brad Barnett and a sacrifice fly by Cole Ballew. But everything came unwound in the bottom of the frame.
“I really thought that we outplayed them for the series except for those big innings,” Rockwall coach Jeff Payne said. “Once [The Woodlands] got rolling in those innings we just didn’t have an answer; we just couldn’t find a way to plug the holes in the dike.”
The Woodlands (36-4) had 13 hits off four Rockwall pitchers, getting three hits and three RBIs apiece from Kolbi Brown and Alex Dunlap and three hits and two RBIs from Chris Andritsos.
In Saturday’s first game, Rockwall got a complete-game seven-hitter from Cason Adams, who outdueled The Woodlands right-handed ace Carter Hope and handed Hope — an Oklahoma State signee — his only loss of the season.