Windthorst bites Dawgs
For the third consecutive time at state, the Bulldogs failed to put up much of a fight, falling to Windthorst 11-0 in the UIL state baseball tournament semi- finals on a blistering Wednesday afternoon in front of 785 mostly Thorndale fans.
Windthorst (33-9) moved on to its very first state championship game in five tries where it was clipped by Miles 4-3 Thursday morning after Miles (19-9) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to steal the victory and the crown.
It's the third straight state semifinals loss for the Bulldogs and second by the 10-run rule after capturing the 2005 cham- pionship.
In the Bulldogs' last three state games, they have scratched out 11 hits, 10 of them singles.
"We hit the ball hard," said Thorndale Coach Kelly Kuhl in his second turn at the state tournament, "it was just right to them. We're young and I expected them to be nervous, but I thought we would play better."
"Nothing went our way," said star ting senior pitcher Tyler Pounders. "We've been behind in plenty of games and come back to win. Everybody expects us to win."
Thorndale, which ends the season 27-9 and was making its fourth trip in the past five years, was shut out for just the third time all season after manag- ing just four hits and just two through the first four innings.
Shea Maupin—the Bulldogs' top hitter at .495—accounted for two of the hits, including a double in the fourth.
Windthorst lefthander Cole Hemmi was not overpowering, but allowed just one Bulldog baserunner to get to third.
The 6-foot-2 Hemmi raised his record to 11-2 after striking out four and not walking a single batter. He had a 1.17 ERA on the season.
"I thought he had his best game in six weeks," said Windthorst Coach Scott Belcher of his hurler. "Today was as good as he's thrown and it was a great time to do it. You can't ask for anything more."
The Bulldogs rode into the state tournament on an eight-game winning streak and had swept their last three playoff series including a combined 58 hits against Falls City and Ganado.
Windthorst had little trouble with Pounders (7-4), pounding out 13 hits against the lefthander and 16 overall, including 14 singles.
"Everything we threw up there they hit," Kuhl said. "Kudos to them."
Junior shortstop Colin Schreiber led the Trojans at the plate with a 3-for-4 showing and three runs batted in to give him 51 for the season.
Pounders was pulled in the sixth after one batter and throwing 79 pitches on the hot summer day that saw temperatures hover around 100 degrees.
Thorndale relied heavily on its defense and even that broke down as the Bulldogs committed three miscues.
The only real drama came in the fourth inning when Bulldog catcher Tyler Pounders was blocking the plate after a perfect throw from centerfielder Josh Ware and was mowed over by the Trojans' Chase Schreiber who was then ejected from the game for not attempting to slide.
"When it was 2-0 in the second I told them we're not out of it," Kuhl said. "We've come from behind to win before."
"No one expected us to make it this far," Pounders said. "It's been an awesome run. They'll be back next year."
DOG BITES—Thorndale loses just three senior starters in 1B/P Tyler Pounders, OF/P Joe Salinas and OF Travis Stockton... Three of the Bulldog starters are sophomores.
Class A semifinals Thorndale 000 000— 0 4 3 Windthorst 023 204—11 16 1
E - Jordan, P; Maupin; Tomancak (T); Carr (W). DP - Thorndale 1. LOB - Thorndale 5; Windthorst 5. 2B - Maupin (T); Vasquez; Hemmi (W). HBP- Hemmi; Wolf, T. SHMcCoy. SB - George. CS - Mass. Cole W-Hemmi (11-2). L-Pounders (7-4). Save - None. WP - Pounders 2. HBP - by Pounders (Hemmi); by Pounders (Wolf, T). Time: 1:40.