Despite ‘magical mystery tour’, Dawgs overcome
HALLETTSVILLE—The Thorndale Bulldogs didn’t let all the peripheral goings on break their concentration after changing venues three times and trimming their scheduled three-game series with Shiner to a single game.
The Bulldogs prevailed 4-3 and move on to face Flatonia in the regional quarterfinals on their quest to a fifth state tournament appearance in the past six years.
Flatonia (14-9) got past Bremond, 11-4, 4-3 in their area series.
The three-game area series was originally scheduled for LaGrange, then because of rainstorms accompanied by thunder and lightning, moved to Sealy and then was finally shortened to a one game winner-take-all in Hallettsville Saturday night.
“Our kids were really excited to play and we came out with a lot of emotion,” said Thorndale Coach Kelly Kuhl. “ It was good to get a lead, but we would have liked to build on it more. We played pretty good defense and got another good pitching performance from Paxton (Jordan).”
Jordan raised his record to 7-1 on the season after allowing six hits and one walk, while striking out three batters.
Thorndale (19-10) jumped out quickly to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second, but Shiner had battled back by the fifth for a 3-3 tie.
In the sixth, Isaac Leyendecker battled Shiner pitcher Les Koenning and finally drew a walk.
“That was one of the best at bats I have seen in a long while,” Kuhl said. “He saw at least 12 pitches.”
With two strikes on him, Tyler Miller hung in there for a double to give the Bulldogs runners on second and third.
Josh Ware followed up with a sacrifice fly to score pinch runner Sam Richter with what turned out to be the winning run.
“Our kids did an excellent job of executing in the sixth to get the go ahead and eventually winning run,” Kuhl said.
Ware sparked the Bulldogs by going 2-for-3 with a triple and three runs batted in, including the game winner.
Miller was also 2-for-3 with a double. Jordan aided his own cause with an RBI and two baseon balls.
Flatonia has had to scratch and claw their way all season long.
“This should be a pretty good match up,” Kuhl said. “They were in a three way tie with Shiner in their district for first and ended up winning the tie breaker.
“They have a couple of kids that throw pretty hard. They also hit the ball well and try to do the little things on offense to produce a run. It should be a good series.”
The Bulldogs are led by senior Dakota Pinney, who sports a .441 average and is 4-1 with a 2.02 earned run average on the mound
This series winner will face the winner of the Ben Bolt-D’Hanis series.
Thorndale 4, Shiner 3 Thorndale 030 001 0—4 8 2 Shiner 011 010 0—3 6 2
W-Jordan, P. (7-1). L-Koenning. HR-Patek (T). Records—Thorndale 19-10, Shiner 18-7.
THORNDALE VS. FLATONIA VS
Who—Thorndale Bulldogs (20-9)
vs. Flatonia (13-8).
What—Class A, Region IV Regional
When—(1st game) Thursday, 7
p.m. in LaGrange. (2nd game)
Friday 7 p.m. in Taylor (3rd game if
necessary, 5 p.m. in LaGrange).
Area series—Thorndale defeated
Shiner 4-3; Flatonia def. Bremond
District—Thorndale was District
26A champion; Flatonia was 28A
Bulldog to watch—No. 6 Sr. Dakota
Pinney (.441, 4-1, 2.02).