Defending Champ Muenster Shuts Down Woden in 2A Semifinals
ROUND ROCK — Woden senior pitcher Drew Shifflet entered the UIL state baseball tournament having allowed just two runs during the playoffs.
He allowed two more Wednesday night, but those were enough to cut Woden’s season just short of the state championship game.
Muenster scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning, Stetson McGrew tossed a three-hitter, and the defending champion Hornets defeated Woden, 2-0, in their Class 2A state semifinal at Dell Diamond.
The Hornets (35-4-1) will face Dallardsville Big Sandy (33-4-1) at noon Thursday for the title, while Woden finished its best season in school history at 27-7-1.
“That’s an honor and a testament to this group of guys,” said Woden coach Brad Stevens. “They showed up to practice ready to go every day, and they’re resilient, they don’t like to lose. We had a good group of seniors that led this group and the other guys followed. With the group of seniors that I got, all of them could go on and play (in college). It hurts but it’s something to be proud of.”
With two outs and runners at second and third in the fifth, Kagen Dangelmayr hit a grounder into the hole between third base and shortstop. Dangelmayr beat the throw to first, and trailing runner Danny Luttmer rounded third and scored for the two-run lead.
In the playoffs, Shifflet (12-2) had only allowed two runs in a relief appearance in the area round against Alto before Wednesday night.
He tossed six innings, allowing a couple of runs on three hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk.
“I think he tried to nibble at little bit instead of going after guys,” Stevens said of Shifflet. “He’s got good stuff and I think he kinda overthought some things and got his pitch-count up a little bit. But he still threw a lot of strikes and did his thing.
“He’s a once-in-a-coaching-career type of guy. If you get to have a guy like that consider yourself lucky and hold on for the ride. A guy like that will spoil you as a coach. You sit back and let him do this thing, and it was a pleasure to get to watch that.”
On the other side, Woden had difficulty against McGrew (12-0), who struck out nine, walked one, and gave up three singles in the complete-game effort.
Only one Woden baserunner got as far as second base all night.
“He was just better tonight,” Stevens said of McGrew. “You look up and all of sudden you’re 0-2, so he was attacking the zone. A nasty, sharp breaking ball, and I don’t know a lot of people that could hit it. You tip your hat to him, he made the pitches when he needed to. We hit some balls hard right at some people, and then they’d make a great play. He was better than us tonight, and they deserve to move on, that’s a great team.”
Both Shifflet and McGrew dominated on the mound through four innings.
A one-out walk to Luttmer in the fifth was followed by a Shifflet strikeout. Then, Muenster leadoff hitter Clay Stevens rocketed a ball over the head of Woden left fielder Dylan Gaskin for a ground-rule double.
Dangelmayr followed with the game-changing ground ball that scored both runs.
Woden will lose just four seniors to graduation, including Shifflet, Ethan Jacobs, Cody Reese, and Lance Albritton.
“I think the experience is gonna help (us),” Stevens said. “You watch (Muenster) play and they were calm, cool, collected, and that experience helped them. You could see it in their faces, they didn’t panic, they never looked worried. I think moving on (we) have that experience, have a good group of eighth-graders coming in, and hopefully they can catch on pretty quick to where we can come back.
“It takes a lot of luck and lot of good play to get here to this point, and hopefully they can learn from it and build on it.”
Muenster 2, Woden 0
Class 2A State Semifinal
At Dell Diamond, Round Rock
Woden 000 000 0 — 0 3 1
Muenster 000 020 x — 2 3 0
Pitchers and catchers
- Woden: Drew Shifflet and Lance Albritton.
- Muenster: Stetson McGrew and Carson Cheaney.
WP — McGrew (12-0).
LP — Shifflet (12-2).
- Woden: Clay Stevens.