DALLAS -- What a difference a day can make. Or something like that.

Hallsville bounced back from an extra innings loss in the wee hours of Saturday morning to completely dismantle Waxahachie in a Saturday afternoon double-header, 7-1 and 13-1, at Dallas Jesuit's Wright Field.

With the latter two wins, the Bobcats claimed the Class 5A area round series two games to one and move on to a highly anticipated regional quarterfinal appearance against Lufkin. The run at a second consecutive state tournament appearance is still on.

"We know how good those guys are," Hallsville head coach Scott Mitchell said of Waxahachie. "They don't share a district championship in the district they were in and not be good. I'm just happy. It was good to see our bats come alive and to scratch and claw and finally get some big, timely hits today that we haven't been getting in the past the last week or two."

Man, the bats came alive. Hallsville (24-5) owned a lead from the first inning of Game 2 onward.

Facing elimination, Jacob Walker led off the game with a base hit up the middle after an 0-for-5 final line in the first game of the series. He was batted home by Logan Bailey's sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.

The Bobcats took full control of Game 2 with a four-run third inning en route to the 7-1 win.

Mitchell's club then essentially won the series with an eight-run bottom of the first in Game 3. It formally claimed the game in the fifth inning via the 10-run-rule with Austin Blakeley's three-run homer to the parking lot beyond left field.

Pitching also played a major role. Ace Coby Weaver threw 90 pitches in Game 1 and Colton Brasher entered the double-header after 50 throws in the first game.

Hallsville turned to Bailey for the second game. He went the distance on 114 pitches to preserve the rotation and bullpen.

"Last night, when I laid in bed, I felt like the game was on me," Bailey said. "A lot of pressure was on me, but I felt confident. I love being in that position, especially with the defense I have. I just had to go out and throw strikes."

Brasher followed that performance up with an abridged complete game on 76 pitches. That put his weekend count at 126 throws.

Waxahachie (23-7) enjoyed nowhere near the same success of the Bobcats' pitching staff. It made four pitching changes during the double-header, and three choices didn't even make it out of the first inning of Game 3.

"Last night, we were a little mad about losing," Brasher said. "But we knew we'd just give it our all today. We did. We played great."

With a 1-0 lead in hand through two innings, Hallsville broke Game 2 wide open in the top third. Weaver, Jack Underwood and Carson Henderson all recorded RBIs with two outs in the fame. Underwood then came home thanks to back-to-back errors charged against Waxahachie.

The Bobcats tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth before giving up a single run in the bottom fifth.

Hallsville sent 15 batters to the plate in the first inning of Game 3 for the 8-0 lead.

Waxahachie never got closer than an 8-1 deficit.

Carson Henderson homered to left field in the second inning. Jacob Walker began the fifth inning with a walk, Walker doubled him home, Ty Meissner was hit by a pitch and then Blakeley hit the game-ending bomb.

The reward for all of that is a date with Lufkin, the winner of District 16-5A. It's a matchup East Texans in the know have been looking forward to all season.

Times, dates and venues have not been set, but Mitchell said both teams are interested in places that can accommodate very large crowds.

Hallsville pasted Lufkin, 13-0, in the opening game of the season, but it did not have to deal with Houston pitching commitment Trey Cumbie.

Lufkin has not lost since.

"It's going to be a huge series," Mitchell said. "They've got great pitching. We're very similar. We played them first game of the year. It was cold and rainy and we scored some runs on them early. I have no idea the last time they lost. It wasn't in district and they haven't lost in the playoffs. It's going to be a huge series. We know what's riding on this."

Class 5A Region II Area Baseball Playoffs

At Jesuit's Wright Field, Dallas

Game 2 -- Hallsville 7, Waxahachie 1

Hallsville              104    020    0    --    7    9    0
Waxahachie        000    010    0    --    1    3    4

Pitchers and catchers
  • Hallsville: Logan Bailey and Colton Oberthier
  • Waxahachie: Tyler Navarro, COrey Woodhouse (6) and Taylor Bright

 

  • WP -- Bailey
  • LP -- Navarro

 

Doubles
  • Hallsville: Austin Blakeley, Coby Weaver

 

Game 3 -- Hallsville 13, Waxahachie 1 (Five Innings)

Waxahachie            010    00    --    1     3    0
Hallsville                  810    04    --    13  10    1

Pitchers and catchers
  • Waxahachie: Jake Norton, A.J. Munoz (1), Corey Woodhouse (1), Bailey Medlock (3) and Taylor Bright
  • Hallsville: Colton Brasher and Colton Oberthier

 

  • WP -- Brasher
  • LP -- Norton

 

Doubles
  • Hallsville: Jacob Walker

 

Home Runs
  • Hallsville: Austin Blakeley, Carson Henderson