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Varsity baseball knocks off top rivals this week

Knights defeat Jags to win eighth straight title, then end regular season with victory over Anderson

Steven Tibbetts and Julie Robertson

Senior+Cole+Ross+was+a+run+producer+against+Anderson+on+Saturday+afternoon%2C+going+2-for-3+and+driving+in+leadoff+hitter+Koehler+Vandament+twice+in+the+game.+Photo+by+Julie+Robertson.+
Senior Cole Ross was a run producer against Anderson on Saturday afternoon, going 2-for-3 and driving in leadoff hitter Koehler Vandament twice in the game. Photo by Julie Robertson.

Senior Cole Ross was a run producer against Anderson on Saturday afternoon, going 2-for-3 and driving in leadoff hitter Koehler Vandament twice in the game. Photo by Julie Robertson.

Senior Cole Ross was a run producer against Anderson on Saturday afternoon, going 2-for-3 and driving in leadoff hitter Koehler Vandament twice in the game. Photo by Julie Robertson.

Steven Tibbetts

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The football team traditionally faces Anderson High to start the regular season and LBJ to start the district season. Last fall, the football team won both rivalry games as part of a historic season.

The 2018 Knights pose with the district championship trophy after defeating LBJ, 4-3, on Tuesday night. Photo by Julie Roberston.

This week, the baseball team played LBJ to end district play and Anderson to end the regular season. While the games were an ending not a beginning, the scoreboard told the same historic story.

The baseball Knights beat LBJ, 4-3, to win their eighth straight district title. And today, the Knights defeated the Trojans, 6-4, to end the season in a brunch Taco Shack Bowl baseball game under a cloudless April afternoon sky.

Against LBJ on Tuesday, Eric Worden started the game and went six strong innings for the Knights.

The Jaguars were hoping to force a three-way tie for first in the district. The Knights beat Austin High twice, and Austin High beat LBJ twice. LBJ defeated Mac 3-2 to start district play on March 6 and needed the sweep to force the messy tie atop the district standings. For a while, it looked like it might happen. The Knights trailed or were tied through Worden’s entire start, except when it mattered most.

The Knights fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning. In what would become a theme for the game, Eric’s younger brother, starting right fielder Alec Worden, saved the day for his brother’s chance for a win on the mound and his team’s chance to win the outright disrict title.

Following a Mason Bryant double, Alec Worden hit an RBI double in the second inning that plated Bryant to cut the lead to 2-1. In the third, Trinidad de la Garza hit another RBI double to bring home Davis Roe and tie the game at 2.

After pitching six innings to earn the win against LBJ, Worden came on to get the final five outs against Anderson today and earn the save. Mason Bryant saved the game on Tuesday and won the game today. Photo by Julie Robertson.

A McCallum error in the top of the fourth cost the Knights a run and put them behind 3-2 until the sixth inning. Two LBJ errors and a single by Reace Lane put McCallum runners at second and third in the bottom of the sixth. But after two Knight strikeouts, it appeared Jaguar starter Sam DiCarlo, who threw a complete-game 3-2 victory over the Knights on March 6, would wriggle out of the sixth with the lead intact.

Enter Alec Worden who hit a hard ground ball under the LBJ shortstop’s glove to drive home the elder Worden and Lane to give the Knights their only lead of the game but ultimately the only lead they would need.

Bryant came in to pitch the seventh and earn the save, getting two strikeouts, a walk, and then a final strikeout to win the game.

Bryant and Eric Worden again teamed up to defeat an archrival opponent this afternoon at Northwest Park. This time it was Bryant starting and earning the win, and Worden coming into get the final outs and save the game.

With the game tied at 3 after four innings, the Knights opened the fifth by scoring the game’s decisive two runs. Senior Cole Ross doubled home Koehler Vandament, who had singled, and Eric Worden, who had drawn a walk, to make the score 5-3.

Ross also drive in Vandament in the top of the first to open the game’s scoring. The Knights added two runs in the second. Alex Baylor drove in Caleb Herpin, who was courtesy running for Bryant, with an RBI groundout, and David Roe doubled home Alec Worden to make it, 3-1, Knights.

Vandament scored for the third time in the top of sixth after reaching on an error and scoring on Eric Worden’s double. For the game, Vandament was 2-for-4 with a stolen base. Ross was 2-fo-3 with a pair of RBI’s. Bryant was also 2-for-3 with a double and a triple.

The game got interesting in the bottom of the sixth. After three walks, an error on a bunt and a sacrifice fly, the score was 6-4, and the Trojans had the bases loaded with only one out.

Eric Worden relieved Bryant at that point. The first batter he faced hit a fly-ball out to Vandament in center field, who completed an inning-ending double play by throwing out Trojan second baseman Drew Blankenship before his teammate center fielder Trevor Marek reached home trying to tag up an score from third.

The seventh inning was less eventful. Despite a Bryant triple to open the inning, the Knights did not score in the top half, and Worden retired the side in order to complete a five-out save in which he faced only four batters.

Next up for McCallum is a playoff best two-of-three series against Medina Valley, with the first game being played at Medina Valley High School on Friday. The second and possibly a third game will be played at Northwest Field on Saturday.

First-year varsity coach Jacob Alvarez will face an interesting dilemma in deciding his rotation for the series. Against the Jaguars and Trojans, he used Bryant and Eric Worden interchangeably as a starting pitcher-closer tandem. But senior Cole Ross and junior Abraham Dietz has also logged significant innings and have pitched effectively.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Varsity baseball knocks off top rivals this week”

  1. Kristen T. on April 29th, 2018 5:09 pm

    The video is so cool! I love the narration and interviews with the Wordens and Coach Alvarez.

    [Reply]

  2. otis wilson on April 30th, 2018 1:50 pm

    I enjoyed this article because it summed up the season and there was a video on the season

    [Reply]

  3. Lindsey Plotkin on April 30th, 2018 6:03 pm

    I like how the video provided a good overview of the game against LBJ, and helped explain the season and how the interviews were incorporated into the video.

    [Reply]

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Varsity baseball knocks off top rivals this week