Tye Smith’s Walk-Off Hit In Extras Forces Hallsville and Sulphur Springs Into First-Place Game
HALLSVILLE -- The Bobcats spited two teams Friday in a 3-2 victory through eight innings.
There was their opponent, Sulphur Springs, but the Marshall baseball team also was in attendance after completing their regular season earlier in the week.
Sulphur Springs wanted to win an undisputed District 16-5A championship. Marshall also wanted Hallsville to lose so it would have the opportunity to play its way out of third place in the league standings.
Neither thing happened on the final night of the Texas high school regular season.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, center fielder Tye Smith snapped an 0 for 3 skid with a first-pitch ground ball through the left infield gap and plated Matt Wyman from third base for the biggest win of the season.
The come-from-behind W forces a first-place seeding game and unofficial district championship competition between Hallsville and Sulphur Springs today at 1 p.m. at Tyler's Mike Carter Field. Marshall regressed to third place outright and will draw Highland Park in the bi-district round of the state playoffs.
"There was a lot of intensity and I had a mind full of things," Smith said. "I just look down the third base line and Coach (Scott) Mitchell says, 'You're a good hitter. Believe in yourself. I have lots of confidence.' That was pretty much got my mind set, that I could do this."
Sulphur Springs (17-7-1, 10-2) controlled the meeting from the top of fourth inning all the way to the bottom of the seventh.
Ryan Humphries had hit a two-run shot to left-center field marker. The ball sailed right over the 365-feet marker for a 2-1 lead against Hallsville (24-4, 10-2).
An infield throwing error on what would have been the second out of the frame turned momentum. Seven-hole hitter Colton Oney, who had walked on four straight pitches as the half-inning's lead off man and reached second base on a sacrifice bunt, was able to scramble in for the tying run.
Offense was hard to come by for either team thanks to strong outings from Hallsville's Cooper Rawls and Sulphur Springs' Triston McCormick. Both reached extras with just about 20 pitches to spare before running up against the 110-pitch rule.
Rawls' only blow was the two-run bomb. McCormick was nearly flawless aside from allowing three straight hits in the first inning for one run by Ty Meissner and the walk to Oney.
Both pitchers went the distance and helped the game to a finish time of two hours and 10 minutes.
Rawls ultimately threw 114 pitches because he hit the limit during the at-bat that ultimately went down as Sulphur Springs' final out of the top eighth.
McCormick's 100th pitch was the ball Smith connected on for the win, which retroactively gave Rawls the win on the mound.
"It was a huge thing," Mitchell said of Rawls' complete game. "We knew we were going to have to play tomorrow regardless. We were going to play these guys or Marshall. Cooper won't be available tomorrow, but we'll have everybody else available. We'll get some work, and it'll be good for the playoffs."
Blaine Parker or Mason Higginbotham will get the start for the Bobcats in today's championship game. Parker started Tuesday in a win against Texas High and Higginbotham earned a save.
Not only will the game today serve as the unofficial District 16-5A championship, it will be the ultimate rubber match between Hallsville and Sulphur Springs.
Sulphur Springs defeated the Bobcats at home, 5-1, on April 4.
"We'll both share the district championship and we're just playing for seeding," Mitchell said. "But they'll be excited. That's what we wanted. We wanted a shot, wanted a chance against against Sulphur here at home and have a chance to play to share the district championship. I'm very proud of them.
"We'll go play, have fun tomorrow and see what happens."
Hallsville 3, Sulphur Springs 2
At The Ballpark in Hallsville
Sulphur Springs 000 200 0 -- 2 4 2
Hallsville 000 000 1 -- 3 8 0
Pitchers and catchers
- Sulphur Springs: Colton McCormick and Ryder Caddell
- Hallsville: Cooper Rawls and Dylan Bailey
WP -- Rawls
LP -- McCormick
Hallsville: Matt Wyman
Sulphur Springs: Ryan Humphries