Heath beats Montgomery, 6-3; plays tomorrow for 4-A State Championship!
ROUND ROCK – The Montgomery Bears scored scored one run and left two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh and last inning but, in a gritty performance, Heath pitcher Jake Thompson struck out the final Bear batter on a called third strike, leading the Hawks to a 6-3 Class 4-A Semi-Final victory this afternoon.
Thompson was hit on the foot by a hard line drive in the second inning, which clearly hurt him and disrupted his pitching motion throughout the rest of the game. He displayed unusually poor control in each inning, walking two Bear batters in the bottom of the seventh, which allowed the tying Bear hitter to come to bat.
Nevertheless, the All-American pitcher and Detroit Tiger’s first MLB draft pick bore down and caught the last Bear batter looking at a called third strike, finishing with another complete game. His record is now 12-1 for the 2012 season.
The Hawks finished the game with nine hits off two Bear pitchers and one error.
The Bears had eight hits and two errors.
Other stats are not yet available.
The Hawks starting the scoring in the top of the second inning when Timbo Duncan singled to start the inning & scored on bases-loaded error. Grayson Lewis then singled and scored on a Jovan Hernandez sacrifice.
The Bears tied the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the second. Thompson hit one Bear batter, who moved to third and was caught in a rundown trying to score on a single. Catcher Jovan Hernandez then accidentally hit the runner during the run-down, allowing him to score.
Heath scored three more runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-2 lead. Boswell walked and scored on a single by Grayson Lewis. Then Russell Hughes hit a two-run double off the left-field wall. Jake Bledsoe, who had also singled, and Lewis sc0red at virtually the same time, after a head-first sliding Bledsoe knocked the ball out of the Montgomery catcher’s hand. Lewis slid in feet first a tenth of a second later and nearly smashed into Bledsoe.
The Hawks added an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning to take a 6-2 lead over Montgomery. Austin Stewart singled and later scored on a single to right by Jake Baxter.
Heath (35-9) will now play in its first Class 4-A State Championship Game tomorrow at 7 pm at Dell Diamond in Round Rock against Cleburne (30-10), which overcame a 0-6 deficit and beat Lake Travis last night in the extra eighth inning, 9-7.
The game will be webcast live by Fox Sports SW on its website (see separate updating news story on our home page).
Heath Coach Greg Harvey said again after the game that Jovan Hernandez will pitch for the Hawks. They assume Thompson will be ready to play third base and hit, as well.
Single-game tickets for $5 each or $30 tournament passes are only available at Dell Diamond.
By J.J. Smith, Publisher