Slocum Advances to Title Game With Wild Semifinal Victory
ROUND ROCK — The Slocum Mustangs advanced to the Class A state championship game with a wild 8-7 win over New Home in their semifinal Wednesday afternoon at Dell Diamond.
Slocum scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning when New Home third baseman Kaleb LeClair’s throw to first base on a grounder by Joseph Byrnes skipped past the first baseman, allowing Randy Guess to cross home.
The Mustangs (21-8), who are making their first-ever appearance at the state baseball tournament, will play Fayetteville (17-8) at 9 a.m. Thursday for the state title.
Ben Haney began the seventh inning with a single to center field and moved up to second with a stolen base. Guess then drew a walk.
With one out, Taylor Hunt reached on a fielder’s choice on a grounder to third. LeClair got the force out at third base, but this throw got past the first baseman putting runners at second and third with two outs. That set the stage for Byrnes.
Wednesday’s game was truly a back-and-forth affair.
Slocum lead 3-0 after three innings, but New Home took a 4-3 lead with a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth. The Mustangs re-took the lead with four runs in the sixth before New Home answered back with three to tie it in the top of the seventh.
Colton Peters led Slocum’s 12-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Austin Sarraf drove in two runs, while Taylor Hunt and Haney had two hits apiece.
Sarraf was the winning pitcher, getting the final two outs of the seventh. Hunt, the starter, allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.
Andrew Abernathy’s fielder’s choice RBI gave Slocum a 1-0 lead in the second. Taylor Lomax singled home a run and Sarraf scored on another fielder’s choice in the third, pushing the lead to 3-0.
Matt Bradley got New Home on the board in the fourth with a fielder’s choice RBI. In the fifth, Reed Bundy ripped a two-RBI single, and came around to score the go-ahead run on an errant pickoff attempt by Slocum’s Hunt.
Slocum, with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, took a 7-4 lead when Sarraf singled to center fielder Kaden Buckelew, who had the ball slide under his glove and all the way to the wall. Sarraf was able to circle the bases on the play.
New Home tied the game in the top of the seventh with three runs. Keagan Grantham’ s ground-rule, RBI double ensured the game would go to the bottom half of the inning.
Slocum 8, New Home 7
Class 1A State Semifinal
At Dell Diamond, Round Rock
New Home 000 130 3 — 7 7 5
Slocum 012 004 1 — 8 12 4
Pitchers and catchers
- New Home: Keagan Grantham, Bode Stewart (6) and Stewart, Matt Bradley (6).
- Slocum: Taylor Hunt, Taylor Lomax (7), Austin Sarraf (7) and Andrew Abernathy.
WP — Sarraf (5-3).
LP — Stewart (2-3).
- New Home: Grantham.