Eagles score two in sixth to take lead
Salado Eagles came from behind in both of their games against the Lorena Leopards and will now face the Huffman Hargrave Falcons in the Regional Semi-final round of the UIL 4A Baseball playoffs.
Salado will play Huffman in a best-of-three series with game 1 slated for 7 p.m. May 24 at Madisonville High School, 811 S. May St. in Madinsonville. Tickets are $5.
Game 2 will be played at 5 p.m. May 25 at College Station High School, 4002 Victoria Ave., College Station. Game 3, if necessary, will follow 30 minutes after game 2. Tickets are $5.
Huffman Hargrave are the District 23-4A Champions, with a 7-1 district record and a 21-10-1 overall record. They beat the Lufkin Hudson Hornets in a best-of-three series last week. They have nine returning starters from last year’s Area Finalist team.
Salado Eagles scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth without the benefit of a hit to beat the Lorena Leopards 5-4 on May 19, sweeping their regional quarterfinal series.
Trailing 3-4, Jacob Wilk led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk, Rustin Hale was hit by the pitcher, Both runners advanced on a passed ball and Kade Maedgen walked to load the bases. Maedgen was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice by David Heath that allowed Wilk to score and Hale to reach third. Caleb Self laid down a bunt to score Wrook Brown (in for Hale) but reached first on an error on the play. He stole second while Heath went to third on a passed ball, but both runners were left stranded when Bo Smedshammer struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
In the seventh, Ustanik singled to center with one out. Smedshammer flew out to left for the second out. Braden Smith was hit by the pitcher to put runners at first and second. Pitcher Jacob Wilk caught Ustanik on the base path between second and third for the third out, ending the game.
The Eagles took an early lead in the game by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Ryan Oakes walked. Wilk singled and Rustin Hale homered over the left field fence to make the score 3-0.
Lorena bounced back with two runs in the second. Jett Forest reached on a fielder’s choice that put Bryce Strahan out at second. He advanced on a passed ball and scored on a single down to left field by Hayden Shrader. Shrader advanced when Caleb Williams was hit by the pitcher, scoring on a single to left by Livingston. Williams was left stranded on second as Alec Brem hit the ball to pitcher Konnor Baird who turned to second; Wilk took the throw and turned it into a double play getting the runner at first.
The Leopards tied the game in the fourth. Strahan led off with a single to right. He went to second when Forest was hit by the pitcher. Shrader laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners and Strahan scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Williams.
The Leopards took the lead in the fifth. With one out, Ustanik reached on a third strike passed ball. He went to third on a ground out by Smedshammer and scored on a passed ball for a 4-3 lead.