Harlandale drops lead against Medina Valley, eliminated from playoffs
In the span of a postseason week, Harlandale experienced its highest highs and lowest lows.
The Indians (18-10) were within two outs of making their deepest playoff run since reaching the state tournament in 1960. But their fortunes took an abrupt turn in the 5A area-round game.
Harlandale had increased its lead to 7-5 in the top of the seventh inning, but Medina Valley (22-6) had the top of its batting order coming to the plate in the bottom of the inning. The Panthers scored three runs on a play that went awry and advanced with an 8-7 win on Saturday.
“It was a tough one for our program,” Harlandale coach Eric Forestier said. “We gave them six runs out of eight. It hurts a little more when you’re so close.”
On March 1, the Indians won their first bi-district championship since 1991, after overcoming an early deficit for a 13-8 extra-inning win at Austin McCallum.
Harlandale also fought back in its area-round game, after Medina Valley established a three-run lead in the first inning and hiked it to 5-0 in the second.
Florentino Zatarain doubled, advanced on a bunt single from senior Julian Ramos (3-for-4, RBI) and scored on a balk to bring in Harlandale’s first run in the third inning. The Indians erupted for five in the fifth for a 6-5 lead on senior John Navarro’s two-RBI double.
“I’m proud of our seniors,” Forestier said. “They came through today.”
In the top of the seventh, Joshua Flores drove in a run on a double-play ball for a two-run cushion.
Medina Valley’s Tanner Bippert was hit by a pitch, with one out in the bottom of the inning. Garrett Liggett and Dylan Fillinger produced consecutive singles, and Fillinger’s brought in Bippert. An errant throw to third base traveled up foul territory and the Panthers scored all three baserunners on the miscue.
District 28-5A co-champion Medina Valley scored its first three runs on an RBI single from Fillinger and a three-base throwing error.
“This group did something Harlandale hadn’t done in 28 years,” Forestier said. “They were two outs away from going to the third round.”
Dripping Springs edges Southwest in 3 games
District 28-5A co-champion Southwest (24-11) extended the series to a third game by winning 8-7 on Friday at Dripping Springs (24-12), but the Tigers rebounded to win the decisive game 5-2 on Saturday at Northeast Sports Park.
The Tigers prevailed 5-0 in the opening game Thursday at Somerset.
In Game 2, Southwest’s Tristan Castilleja hit a go-ahead RBI single in the fifth. Dripping Springs regained the lead before a pair of walks and a pair of ground outs enabled the Dragons to manufacture a five-run rally.
After the third game, fourth-year Dragons coach Bobby Behnsch tweeted he was “moving on” from Southwest.
Austin Westlake sweeps South San
Austin Westlake overcame a 7-0 Bobcats lead on its home field on Friday to finish the series in Game 2. Westlake won Game 2 with a score of 8-7 in 12 innings after defeating South San 11-1 in five innings at Burrows-Gustafson Stadium on Thursday.
South San built its seven-run lead with a five-run outburst in the third inning. Gio Sandoval produced an RBI single, Jacob Elizondo blasted a three-run double and starting pitcher Javier DeAlejandro collected an RBI single.