LEAGUE CITY – San Marcos Baptist Academy’s Chase Jones led off Thursday’s TAPPS 4A Bi-District playoff game with a Texas League bloop single to short right field, but that was all the offense the Bears were able to muster until the sixth inning in an 8-2 loss to League City Bay Area Christian.”This was the first time we’ve played against somebody that throws this hard,” SMBA head baseball coach Jason Campbell said of the playoff loss. “And we did well, it was just a matter of finding a rhythm. We found it late and unfortunately we just ran out of time.”
BACS starter Ethan Henderson didn’t give up another hit until Jake Marcum and Shelby Cole recorded back-to-back singles in the top of the sixth, with the Bears trailing 5-0. Cole’s shot to center plated Marcum and Jones, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, to pull SMBA to within three, at 5-2.
The Bears had a chance to cut into the lead even more as Alex Stark’s sacrifice bunt moved Cole into scoring position, but Henderson struck out the next batter to end the threat.
Sam Skipworth took to the mound, in relief, in the bottom half of the sixth and the hometown Broncos were able to put the game away with three insurance runs on two hits, a pair of walks and a catcher’s interference call.
Bay Area Christian head coach Darwin Pennye said the extra runs gave his right-hander some breathing room in the top of the seventh inning.
“I think it gave him a chance to catch his breath having a long inning,” the skipper said. “It gave him a chance to reach back and find that extra ball that he needed to get it done.”
Henderson needed just eight pitches to put the Bears away in the top of the seventh. He gave up just three hits in his complete-game victory, striking out 12.
SMBA ace Darby Rollins gave up five runs (only three earned unofficially) in his five innings of work in the start. But Campbell said he was still impressed with his freshman right-hander.
“They didn’t hit too many clean shots,” he said. “They hit a home run, which was a clean shot, but other than that they did well. They made plays when they had to. Our philosophy was play good defense, keep the score low and see what happens.
“Sometimes it just one play, two plays that opens the door to get a lot of runs, and in a playoff game you can’t give up too many runs.”
The Bears committed two critical errors in bottom of the first inning, spotting the home team an early 3-0 lead. BACS added a manufactured run and a solo homer to the tally in the bottom of the third to take a 5-0 lead.
With the loss, San Marcos Baptist’s season comes to an end, and the Bears finished with a 7-11 mark, with a third-place district finish.
By JASON JUMP
Photos by JASON JUMPEmail | Print