REYES
REYES

Catcher Ethan Reyes comes up firing on a slow dribbler in front of the plate during the Cowboys’ win over Nazareth.

press to zoom
LANGFELD
LANGFELD

Luke Langfeld follows Eusebio Tapia to the plate in second inning action of the 16-0 semifinal win over Abbott. Langfeld had to go back to third, as Ethan Reyes’ deep shot was a ground-rule double. He scored anyway, moments later.

press to zoom
WIN
WIN

PHOTOS / JEFF BERGER After the 4-0 championship win over Nazareth last Thursday morning, the D’Hanis Cowboys celebrate the school’s third UIL baseball state championship, to go with those won in 1995 and 2019. And just as in 2019, it was D’Hanis’ second state title in a week, after the school’s softball championship earned the previous Wednesday.

press to zoom
REYES
REYES

Catcher Ethan Reyes comes up firing on a slow dribbler in front of the plate during the Cowboys’ win over Nazareth.

press to zoom
1/4
E87F7399-BF70-4B97-BDDC-BAAE0F8EB660.JPG
Titletown, TX
Following softball’s lead, D’Hanis brings home baseball state crown

 

By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher

 

     Round Rock -- In dominating fashion, the D’Hanis Cowboys completed their year with a two-game sweep of the UIL 1A State Baseball Tournament, bringing home the program’s third state championship.

     The Cowboys set 1A state tournament records for runs and hits in their Wednesday, June 8, semifinal at Dell Diamond, a 16-0 run-rule win over Abbott in just 41/2 innings. 

     On Thursday, June 9, D’Hanis recorded its second shutout, a 4-0 win over Nazareth, to set off a celebration for the second consecutive week. Eight days earlier, the D’Hanis softball team brought home a state championship, repeating the school’s feat from 2019, when the Cowgirls and Cowboys also swept the state titles in the two diamond sports.

     On the mound for D’Hanis (28-3) in Wednesday afternoon’s state semifinal, Daelyn Gonzales gave up a pair of singles – one in the first and one in the fifth – while striking out seven Abbott batters.

     Otherwise, the Cowboy bats were taking care of the rest, scoring three in both of the first two innings. Then leading 7-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth, poured it on with nine runs on the way to the 16-0 win.

     The Cowboys had 15 hits in the game, led by senior catcher Ethan Reyes, who was 3-for-3 with two runs driven in. Luke Langfeld, Will Schawe, Eusebio Tapia and Gonzales all had two hits, with two RBI each from Schawe, Gonzales and Raine Redden.

In the championship game, it was Ryan Hendry’s turn to take the mound, and the senior shut down Nazareth, 4-0, on a three-hit complete game. He threw only 73 pitches in working the full seven innings, earning recognition as the State Championship Game Most Valuable Player. He struck out six and walked no one – he did hit two batters – but the defense was flawless, committing no errors.

The Cowboys’ gave themselves a huge boost in the bottom of the first inning. The Swifts had two runners in scoring position, thanks to two of their three hits on the day, with just one out. Tanner Birkenfeld hit a fly ball into shallow left field. The Cowboys’ Layton Herrmann made a running grab of the ball near the foul line. On the play, Carson Heiman, Nazareth’s runner at third base, had gone all the way home. Herrmann continued his sprint stepping on third base to double off the runner and record a “7-unassisted” double play to end the inning.

     The Swifts would put only one more runner into scoring position the rest of the game.

     D’Hanis stranded two runners in the second and left them loaded in the third.

     Finally, the Cowboys got on the board in the fourth. JJ Garcia hit a one-out single to right, followed by walks to Redden and Tapia, loading the bases. After a pop out, Herrmann drew the bases-loaded walk for a 1-0 D’Hanis lead. Reyes was called out on strikes to end a nine-pitch at-bat, but D’Hanis had the lead midway through the fourth.

    Heiman led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and worked his way to third on a pair of groundouts. But Hendry struck out Nazareth’s Brett Young to end the inning.

     In the fifth, Hendry helped his own cause with a leadoff double to left. Courtesy runner Koby Fortner advanced to third on a wild pitch. Schawe walked, bringing about a pitching change for Nazareth. Trent Gerber, who had gone the distance on the hill in the Swifts’ 1-0 semifinal win over Kennard the day before, was called over from his shortstop position. With only 15 out of his maximum of 110 pitches left, Gerber caught Schawe stealing on a pickoff throw to second, but Gonzales followed with an RBI single to right. Garcia walked, and Redden singled to left, bringing home Gonzales.   Tapia finished the scoring with an RBI fielder’s choice groundout to second base.

     Neither team had another baserunner until a one-out walk for D’Hanis in the seventh. 

    The Swifts’ leadoff batter was hit by a pitch in the seventh, but a pair of fly balls and a strikeout set off the Cowboys’ third state championship dogpile, and the second for coaches Todd Craft and Troy Langfeld.

     Langfeld arrived to coach at his alma mater in the 1995-96 school year, a few months after D’Hanis’ first state title; Craft arrived the next year.

     “It’s really special,” Coach Craft said. “Coach Langfeld and I have been coaching this program together for 26 years. Just seeing these guys raise that trophy and wear those medals.... That’s what we do it for.”