Beckville Falls Short Of Repeat State Tournament Appearance
HEATH — Brandy Harris drove a near perfect shot to no man’s land between four Whitesboro defenders to lead off the top of the seventh. Right fielder Weston Hickman’s ESPN Top 10 caliber, full extension catch was just a little bit better.
That’s the kind of day it was for Beckville in a 2-1 season-ending loss Saturday at Rockwall-Heath High School in Game 2 of the Class 3A Region II championship series. Whitesboro caught more of the breaks late, was the stronger offensive team in early innings and advanced to Round Rock for the 3A state tournament.
Beckville’s loss ended the squad’s dream of making a state tournament appearance for the second consecutive year, but an active three-year streak of reaching the regional championship round will be on the table for the next team.
“They’re hurting right now,” Beckville coach Jason Causey said. “They’re a little disappointed. They had a goal of going back to Round Rock regardless of going up to 3A. They had a goal of getting back and winning it. They’re disappointed, but, at the same time, the future is still good.
“We’ve only got one senior, so the nucleus of our team is coming back. If nothing else, we’ve proved we can play baseball in 3A as well.”
Starting shortstop Zach Collins is the graduating player. He was the two-hole batter in the decisive game and recorded two of the team’s four hits.
It took Beckville (27-8) a considerable amount of time to warm up at the plate, considering the circumstances. Whitesboro (27-8) put together seven hits through the first two innings toward a 2-0 lead, and all but one of its first six outs drove the ball to the outfield.
Whitesboro finished with 11 hits.
Down 2-0 in the top of the third, Collins got a rally started with a one-out hit down the left field line. He stole second base before Ethan Harris’ single knocked him home.
Harris and Ben Bridges were stranded on the bags later in the frame. The squad never touched second base again.
“First time through the order, we do kind of work a little bit,” Causey said. “Second time through the order, we usually have better at-bats moving forward toward the end of the game. We had some chances, had some opportunities and just came up a little short.”
Whitesboro picked up its permanent lead with the game’s second and third at-bats.
Hickman hit a one-out double and got hit in by Cody Robinson three pitches later for the 1-0 advantage. Whitesboro exited the half inning with the bases loaded.
Noah Greison reached base with one out in the second. Hickman got him in on a two-out ground ball through the left infield gap.
Whitesboro’s time at the state baseball tournament will begin Wednesday. All 3A games will be played at Dell Diamond, which is the home of the Texas Rangers’ triple-A team, the Round Rock Express.
Nacogdoches Central Heights will join Whitesboro in Central Texas as will Georgetown Gateway College Preparatory and Wall. Semifinal pairings will be drawn by the UIL later this weekend.
Pleasant Grove will represent the East Texas region at the 4A level. Groveton will participate in the 2A tournament. Union Hill made the 1A tournament.
Whitesboro 2, Beckville 1
Class 3A Region II Championship — Game 2
At Mike Carter Field, Tyler
Beckville 001 000 0 — 1 4 0
Whitesboro 110 000 X — 2 11 1
Pitchers and catchers
- Beckville: Trey Lindsay and Ben Bridges
- Whitesboro: Dalton Vanlandingham and Kade Brewer
WP — Vanlandingham
LP — Lindsay
Whitesboro: Weston Hickman