AUSTIN, Texas — Sinton's state title hopes ended Wednesday when the Pirates dropped a 6-3 loss to Rusk in the state Class 4A semifinals at UFCU Disch Falk Field in Austin.
The Pirates scored more earned runs - three - than heralded Rusk left-hander JT Thompson had yielded all season. He came into the game with an 0.15 earned run average, two earned runs allowed in 93.1 innings, 188 strikeouts and 16 walks.
But it wasn't enough as the Eagles (28-7) advance to Thursday's finals against Texarkana Pleasant Grove, who won earlier on Wednesday night.
Sinton finishes at 33-5.
Two crucial insurance runs in the top of the seventh on two-out RBI-singles by Brett Rawlinson and Zach Blackmon effectively iced the game for the Eagles.
Thompson then retired one batter in the bottom of the seventh before he was removed because of reaching his pitch limit. Closer Mason Cirkle nailed down the final two outs to preserve the victory and send the Eagles into the state finals for the first time in school history.
Rusk jumped to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning on Wade Williams' two-run double against starting pitcher Wyatt Wiatrek.
Sinton bounced back to tie the game in the first on a run-scoring triple by Rylan Galvan and an RBI-double by Blake Mitchell. But Thompson, a Vanderbilt commitment, escaped further damage in the inning.
Rusk reclaimed the lead on a wild pickoff throw by Braeden Brown with two outs in the second inning.
They pushed the lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning on Bryce Lenard's fielder's choice.
Sinton pulled within 4-3 on a leadoff double by Daniel Trevino, a balk and a sacrifice fly by Jaquae Stewart.