Kings of the one-run game, Tigers counted out by Yoe
If Cameron won against Rockdale, the thought was that the Yoemen would get in as the district’s third place team.
Well, Navasota played spoiler and beat second place Rudder 16-6 on Friday, leaping over the Yoemen in the District 24-3A standings and sitting both Milam County teams at home during the postseason.
The Tigers—who defeated Navasota twice—finish the season at 12-11 overall and 6-6 in league play. Cameron, which was the preseason favorite to win district, ended up 13-12 and 7-5.
The loss was the sixth one-run Reporter/Marie Bakken game the Tigers were involved with in district play and they were 3-3 in those games.
The senior righthander had fanned 10 batters in the Yoemen’s 10-9 come-from-behind victory over Rockdale on March 23.
Tiger senior Justin Elliott (2- 6) pitched the last game of his career for Rockdale, striking out five Yoe batters, walking two and surrendering five hits, all singles.
“We didn’t hit good enough to win,” Rockdale head coach Jared Richards said. “Justin turned in another great pitching performance along with some pretty good defense too.”
It all came down to one inning in the end. Cameron’s John Rinn hit a single to center field and his courtesy runner Cheyenne Black then moved over to second on a bunt by Jarrett Beckhusen. The throw to get Beckhusen at first went way wide. Black was able to advance to third and Beckhusen sat at second
Black would score the game’s only run on a ball in the dirt that got just passed the catcher. Beckhusen would move to second on the passed ball and to third on a Josh Smitherman bunt. Justin Sapp then hit a hard liner to third baseman Duke Schneider who threw Beckhusen out at home. Cameron’s at bat would end on a double play, but their mark had been made.
The first two Tiger batters struck out on six straight pitches. A two out rally looked to be in store for Rockdale when Garcia hit a single to right field. That wasn’t to be so as Brashear struck out Schneider to end the game.
It seemed that the Tigers were on the prowl when in their opening at bat they were able to get two base runners on with no outs. The next two batters would strike out.
Rockdale would have the bases loaded after Brashear hit his first of three Tiger batters on the night, but a ground out to third would end the scoring chances.
A long ball to deep center field by Joe Sanders in the bottom of the third looked like a home run for the senior, but Cameron’s Thomas Rinn would snag the ball out of mid air as he crashed into the outfield wall.
The top of the sixth inning looked to be where momentum shifted toward the Tigers.
After Elliott got the first two Yoemen to ground and fly out, respectively, the Rockdale defense showed it was still on its toes.
Cameron’s Ty Morgan hit a fast grounder to Tiger short stop Hector Garcia. Garcia couldn’t get a handle on the ball and it trickled out to center field.
However, Morgan tried to gain an extra base on the hit and he was thrown out trying to take second base to end the inning.
Unfortunately that “fired up” attitude didn’t follow the Tigers to the plate. With two hit batters and three strike outs in the bottom of the sixth, Rockdale still could not push any runs across.
Richards said that the loss the team will take with graduation is just as hard as the loss Friday night.
“We’re disappointed to not have made the playoffs and even more sad to see this group of seniors go. We just never could keep any consistency with the bats. We have to find a way to become better hitters.”
Richards has led the Tigers to three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the 1998-2000 season under long-time coach Larr y Pipkin... With a 55-45 mark in four seasons, Richards has become the third winningest coach in RHS history behind Pipkin (208) and the legendary Ernie Laurence (155)... Dillan Schnerr now has 56 runs batted in in two years on the varsity.
FINAL TIGER STATISTICS
Hitting (at bats-hits-avg)—
Schnerr 29-76 .382; Sanders
23-61 .377; Garcia 18-61 .295;
Schneider 17-59 .288; Byrd 3-12
.250; Debault 12-51 .235; Elliott
12-53 .226; Young 6-29 .207;
Chelf 11-59 .190 Burrough 8-48
.167; Gibbs 8-60 .133; Betchan
2-19 .105; Davidson 0-6 .000;
Pounders 0-3 .000; Evans 0-2
.000; Locklin 0-2 .000; Herrera 0-0
Runs—Sanders 23, Chelf 19.
Doubles—Sanders 7, Schnerr 5.
Triples—Sanders 3, Schneider 1.
Home runs—Elliott 2, Schnerr 1.
RBI—Schnerr 25, Sanders 23.
Steals—Sanders 12, Elliott 8.
Pitching—Chelf 6-2, 3.83; Gibbs 3-
2, 1.58; Pounders 1-0, 0.00; Elliott
2-6, 3.55; Schneider 0-1, 8.17.
Friday’s scores : Cameron 1 , Rockdale 0; San Marcos 10, Taylor 3; Navasota 16, Bryan Rudder 6; Caldwell 11, Madisonville 1.