As the San Saba Armadillo baseball team traveled to Early for a one game playoff with Brady to win third place, their goal was simple: "If we win, we’re in!" That was pretty much the attitude as the action got rolling last Friday night.
The Armadillos started the game with excellent pitching by Cody Herd. After a lead-off hit by pitch, Herd came back forcing a strike out, a ground ball out, and a fly out to end the top half of the inning. When the Dillos batted, Ryan Parks, the lead-off batter, got on base and advanced to second with a wild throw by the Brady third baseman. Ryan Pannell also put the ball in play and the Bulldogs tried to get the lead runner at third, but it was not in time, creating a first and third no out situation. By leaving first base early on purpose, Ryan Pannell got in a rundown and stayed in it long enough for Ryan Parks to score from third. Luke Cox doubled in this same inning but was stranded after a strike out and a fly out ended the inning.
Again, Cody Herd looked sharp in the second by recording a fly out, a double, another fly out, and a line drive out, in that order, keeping the Bulldogs scoreless. The Armadillos looked to stretch the lead with some timely hitting as Tucker Cromer singled to center, Cody Herd doubled knocking in Cromer, Miguel Flores earned a walk on four straight pitches, Clayton Perry got on by fielder’s choice as Flores was tagged out at third, Parks hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped but the throw to second forced out Perry, Pannell singled up the middle, and Cox flew out to center. All of this action earned the Dillos two more runs making the score: Brady-0, San Saba-3.
Brady got on the board in the third with two walks, an error at second, a fielder’s choice, a pop up to second, a strikeout and throwing error by the catcher, and another throwing error by the shortstop. The inning ended by Brady trying to leave early, get in a rundown and score from third. However, the Armadillos stepped off the mound, threw to the second baseman, and fired home to tag out the runner trying score from third base. Even though the score was tied 3-3, the swing of momentum got San Saba fired up again. Tanner Weyerts waited on a curve ball and hit it out of the park over left field. After Zack Davis popped to second, Cromer doubled to the right-center gap. Herd singled to left, scoring Cromer, but was thrown out trying to take second on the throw. Flores hit a ground ball to third, who overthrew first base and the ball got far enough away for Flores to reach third base. Perry singled to left, scoring Flores and Ryan Parks struck out to end the inning.
The fourth inning was another good outing for Cody Herd who faced four batters and no runs, no hits, and no errors were recorded. In the bottom half, San Saba broke it open by sending 15 batters to the plate. Pannell singled to center, Cox walked, Weyerts walked, Davis struck out, and Cromer walked forcing Pannell in. Herd struck out, making two outs, but the rally was far from over. Flores was hit by the pitch, Perry singled to right scoring two more, Parks drew a walk, Pannell singled to left scoring two more, Cox singled to left scoring one, Weyerts doubled to right-center scoring two more, Davis doubled to left scoring one, Cromer got on by an error at second scoring one more before Herd flew out to right to end the inning. Ten runs were scored in all, making the lead thirteen runs.
In the fifth, Herd would face four more batters. The first batter got on due to a bobble at shortstop. A single to center, a ground ball and forced out at second, and another single to center, allowing one to score, meant it was time for a change. Ryan Pannell took the mound to close it for the Dillos. He walked the Brady catcher and struck out the next batter, making two outs. Another walk brought in another run. Pannell then got the designated hitter to ground back to the mound. With a flip to first, the Armadillos ended the game and clinched the final playoff spot by a score of: Brady-5, San Saba-16.
In other action, Grape Creek defeated Coahoma to secure second place in their district. We will meet up with Grape Creek for the Bi-District round of the Texas 2A State Playoffs Friday, May 7th here in San Saba at 7:00. The 2nd game will be played Saturday in Grape Creek at 1:00. The 3rd game, if needed, will be played thirty minutes after game two. We thank everyone who traveled to Early last Friday and look forward to seeing the crowd again this weekend, wherever it may be. Thanks a bunch and, "Go Dillos, Beat The Eagles!!"