Hughes Springs Survives Hot Edgewood Start for Class 2A Regional Quarterfinal Win
LINDALE -- Hughes Springs pitcher Dylan Moore anticipated Thursday's one-game playoff against Edgewood, a rematch of last year's regional quarterfinal, to be contested all the way to the end.
He got the matchup he was expecting and had to dig deep on the way to the Mustangs' 6-4 win in the Class 2A Region II quarterfinal round.
"We played them last year in the same round," Moore said. "We knew who they were, they knew who we were and we knew what they have. It was just a battle."
Things didn't go well for the slight favorite in the first inning. Edgewood sent seven men to the plate and headed into the second inning with a 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI triple by Justin Bundy and an RBI base hit from its starting pitcher, Kobe Huett.
Moore was behind the pace he needed. He threw 25 pitches to get out of a series of jams.
The bottom second looked promising for the opposing Bulldogs as well. A leadoff walk for Jakeb Hunter and an overthrow from Hughes Springs' second baseman on the next play set a new bar for Edgewood's crowd.
That was the very brief low point for a team that reached the state championship game a year ago.
Hunter charged from his hop at first base all the way to third on the fielding error, but Mustangs catcher Chad McKinney recovered the ball and fired off a bullet to third to catch the leading base runner.
Moore recorded the next two outs on four pitches. Things had not gotten completely out of control.
Hughes Springs loaded the bases with one out in the top of the third and then got on the board with a sacrifice fly to center field from shortstop Hayden Smith. Asa Gaul reloaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch with a 2-2 count.
The game swung dramatically.
Third baseman Jacob Taylor hit a 3 RBIs double to deep center field on the second pitch of his second at-bat to give the Mustangs a 4-2 lead.
"It's a team effort and I knew in that position I needed to get a base hit and help my team," Taylor said. "We practice and practice and practice. Hard work pays off."
The third baseman was immediately batted in by right fielder Jake Moore on a hit through the right gap to wrap up a five-run third frame.
Still, there was a lot of baseball to be played.
Edgewood immediately rallied to cut its deficit with a two-out, 2 RBIs knock from sophomore Devin Davison.
"Coach (Jason) Seale does a good job with his kids," Hughes Springs head coach Kent Craig said of Edgewood. "He's always in the playoffs and his kids always play hard, and they play the game right. You can see that in their approach. They had a very good approach at the plate."
The Bulldogs kept coming, scattering three hits and putting five total runners on the bags through the game's final four innings. Problem was, Dylan Moore had settled into his groove.
The future Louisiana-Lafayette pitcher finished his night with six strikeouts and threw for contact against a group of aggressive hitters.
"I just want to give my team the best chance to win," Dylan Moore said. "I was confident in the one game. I don't mind playing a one-game (playoff). I feel like our team picks me up and I can pick them up."
Things dried up for Hughes Springs' offense once Edgewood made the switch from Huett to Jackson Tyner.
Tyner tossed seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work and only gave up one run. That score came in the sixth inning when Mustangs left fielder Hunter Smith scored Jake Moore from second base to give the game its 6-4 final.
After giving up a one-out hit in the seventh, Dylan Moore closed the book on a 21-12 Edgewood season with two groundouts.
The Mustangs will play the winner of a three-game set between Farmersville and Sunnyvale. Farmersville has a 1-0 series advantage entering Game 2 on Friday.
Back home in Hughes Springs, talk of redemption in the state championship game takes on a bit more life.
"That's your ultimate goal," Craig said. "You can't say that it's not. But that was our goal last year and you can't put one game in front of the other. We've got to play who's next first."
Hughes Springs 6, Edgewood 4
Class 2A Region II Regional Quarterfinal
At Lindale ISD Baseball Complex
Hughes Springs 005 001 0 -- 6 6 2
Edgewood 202 000 0 -- 4 9 0
Pitchers and catchers
- Hughes Springs: Dylan Moore and Chad McKinney
- West: Kobe Huett, Jackson Tyner (3) and Jarrod Huber
WP -- Moore.
- Hughes Springs: Jacob Taylor.
- Edgewood: Tyle Ellie, Jace Morgan.
- Edgewood: Justin Bundy.