WAXAHACHIE -- Carthage's season ended Saturday with a 5-3 loss against Caldwell in Game 2 the Class 3A Region III regional quarterfinal round.

But it wasn't the 15-1 beat down the Hornets gave the Bulldogs on Thursday night to start the series. Caldwell needed all the help it could get.

Carthage finally obliged in the bottom of the fifth inning, allowing 11 batters to the plate and five runs to cross.

"This was a great class to coach," Bulldogs head coach Jim Goldman said. "All the seniors were a great bunch every day. They came to work. A fantastic group."

Cole Clinton got the nod for Carthage, helped the club out to a 3-0 lead through four innings and got the team out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom second.

The Bulldogs figured out how to bat around Caldwell's very good pitching staff with two runs in the top of the fourth and another run scored in the fifth inning.

Things just fell apart in the bottom fifth.

Facing Caldwell's top of the order for a third time, Clinton walked the first two batters. Goldman decided to go to first baseman Blake Bogenschutz to get the team out of the spot.

The plan almost worked to perfection.

Bogenschutz immediately forced a pop fly to right field and then had the opportunity to force a double play anywhere on the field after walking Caldwell's Jake Payonk.

Luke Noack nearly played into the trap with a softly hit ball right to Bogenschutz. Carthage's reliever opted to try for the 1-4-3 double play and got the out at second base, but Noack was called safe at first and a runner scored on the play.

"It looked like he was out," Goldman said. "I thought we were called for being off the bag, but he wasn't off the bag. We thought we had him by a step or a half a step and that we'd be out of the inning with it still 3-0 going to the sixth inning. But then we couldn't get the third out."

It took seven more at-bats to record the final out of the inning between back-to-back two-out base hits, a walk and then two back-to-back hit batters before a bases-loaded strikeout swinging.

Despite a Caldwell error in the sixth and another error in the seventh inning for the Hornets' third and fourth errors of the game, the Bulldogs couldn't string hits together to get back into the mix.

William Rittenberry was unavailable Saturday due to a concussion in Thursday's game. He didn't even make the trip back to Waxahachie with the team.

Carthage took the early lead when Jack Morris hit a sacrifice fly to center field. The run scored Kolby Blissett who got a leadoff base hit in the fourth inning. Tyler Killen converted Caldwell's first error of the game into a run with an RBI hit to score Jarod Blissett.

Killen crossed the plate on a wild pitch with two outs in the top fifth.

"Highly disappointed," Goldman said, "but what a bunch of great kids I got to coach. It's real sad that I'm not going to get those seniors back on the practice field and battling. I thought we had the out at first, but you've got to move on."


Caldwell 5, Carthage 3

Class 3A Region III Quarterfinal Playoff -- Game 2

At Waxahachie's Paul Richards Park

Carthage                000    210    4    --    3    5    2
Mount Pleasant      000    050    0    --    5    5    4

Pitchers and catchers
  • Carthage: Cole Clinton, Blake Bogenschutz (5) and Jack Morris.
  • Caldwell: Blaine Suehs and Dylan Drgac.


WP -- Suehs.
LP -- Bogenschutz.