Posted: Jun 8, 2012 7:04 PM by Jason Notoras - email@example.com
Updated: Jun 8, 2012 11:21 PM
ROUND ROCK - The Carroll Tigers were one out from heading to their second State Championship game in 3 years before one bad bounce sent the Tigers spiraling.
With 2 outs in the Top of the 7th, and runners on first and second, O'Shea Dumes (6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 7 K) forced A&M Consolidated left fielder Cody Hamilton to ground sharply to first on a 0-2 court offering. Carroll's Brandon Burns was in position to make the play, but the ball took an unexpected upwards bounce, knocking the hat off Burns head in the process. All Dumes could do was watch in horror from the mound as the ball scooted through for a hit, and Kyle Nelson scored the tying run for A&M Consolidated.
"Baseball is a funny game," said Dumes afterwards of the bad-luck bound. "I just can't understand it."
With runners on first and third, head coach Lee Yeager switched pitchers to Courtney Hawkins. The first batter Hawkins faced, Alec Paradowski singled to left, giving A&M Consolidated the improbable 2-1 lead.
The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the Bottom of the 7th to end the game and their season.
"Bottom line - we asked the guys to play hard. They did (play hard), and they battled," said Yeager. "Someone has to win, and someone has to lose. It wasn't our day."
Carroll had opportunities early, stranding 2 runners in each of the first 3 innings. A&M Consolidated pitcher Riley Ferrell calmed down after giving up 4 hits in the first 2 innings to the Tigers. He, combined with closer Seth Holbert (IP, K, 0 R), would only give up one hit after the second inning.
That lone hit was to Michael Cantu in the fifth inning. His 2-out single advanced Trey Rodriguez (walked, then advanced to second on a wild pitch earlier in the inning) to third base. Rodriguez then scored the game's first run, as he trotted home on a wild pitch from Ferrell.
No Carroll Tiger had more than 1 hit on the afternoon, while Paradowski proved to be the golden ticket for A&M Consolidated. The shortstop was 3-3 batting 8th in the order, and he drove in the winning run against Hawkins.
"It's not going out like we wanted. We wanted to win it," said Hawkins, who was selected 13th overall (Chicago White Sox) on Monday's Major League Baseball Draft. "We did make it back a third time. How many teams can say they did that?"
Carroll joins Fort Bend Elkins as the only 5A programs to reach the State Tournament at least 3 years in a row. Elkins made it 4 straight season from 2000-2003, winning gold in their 2002 and 2003 campaigns.
The Tigers fall in the State Semifinals for the second year in a row, after winning it all in 2010, when most members of the team were just sophomores. Six of those starting athletes will now graduate, leaving just 3 possible returning starters from this year's bunch; Michael Cantu, Rene Pineda, and Brandon Burns.
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