Carlisle Secures Second Consecutive Class A State Tournament Berth in 3-2 Extra-Inning Walk-Off Win Over Douglass
[Special to ETSN.fm]
NACOGDOCHES — A squeeze-play bunt by Ty Baker scored Caleb Colley from third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Carlisle a 3-2 victory over Douglass in the Class A Region III final Thursday night at SFA's Jaycees Field.
The one-game playoff win sends Carlisle to the Class A state tournament at Round Rock's Dell Diamond for the second consecutive year.
"These kids have confidence they are going to win every game," said Carlisle head coach Wesley Colley. "Those close games against West Sabine last week really helped us."
Before last week's 3-0 and 2-1 wins over West Sabine advanced the Indians to the regional finals, Carlisle (27-1) hadn't been in many tight games. In fact, Carlisle had allowed only 21 runs all season entering Thursday night's regional final rematch with Douglass, which Carlisle defeated 4-3 on a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh inning in 2012 in Tyler.
Douglass struck for two runs in the sixth inning to tie the game and put some pressure on the No. 1 team in the state. Neither team scored in the seventh inning to send the game to extra innings.
Colley was the game's next base runner when he led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to right. Jaylan Holland then bunted and an error allowed him to reach first safely and move Colley to second. A Kolton Heim bunt loaded the bases after Douglass was unsuccessful in its attempt to get the lead runner. That set up Ty Baker's game-winning bunt.
Carlisle also got a strong performance on the mound from senior Gunner Baker, who allowed two runs on four hits with nine strikeouts and six walks.
Carlisle got the first run of the game when Ben Goss hit a two-out single to right field to score Zach Brightwell in the bottom of the third inning. Brightwell scored again in the fifth when Gunner Baker singled with two outs. Brightwell had singled with one out, but a great throw from Douglass right fielder Grant Holland that was relayed to third by Hunter Lee got Shadow Sanders out at third for the second out.
A wild pitch that ricocheted off the helmet of Carlisle catcher Clay Allphin in the sixth inning allowed Kolten Rhoudes to score the first run of the game for Douglass to cut the score to 2-1. Allphin was on the ground for several minutes, but stayed in the game.
Freshman Logan Ammons delivered an RBI single later in the inning, despite almost being thrown out at first base by Brightwell, to tie the game 2-2. Ammons grounded into a 6-4-3 double play two innings later that left Douglass empty-handed after having the bases loaded with no outs.
Colley had a double and single to lead Carlisle. Brightwell and Sanders each had two singles.
Douglass pitcher Reed Westbrook allowed three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks in eight innings. He pitched to two batters in the ninth before being moved to shortstop. Matthew Wallace pitched to the final two batters of the game.