Changed call in 8th leads to state trip for Fayetteville

 

By Jeff Berger

Anvil Herald Publisher

 

     The Great Frustration – which last visited in 2018 – roared back to life last week for the D’Hanis Cowboys.

    The Cowboys were close, just as they always are, but couldn’t get over the hump, in a best-of-three, Region IV-1A series loss to the Fayetteville Lions.

    Fayetteville took the Thursday night, June 3, which started at 9:30 in Kenedy after a 2 1/2 rain delay, by a 4-1 score. On Friday, June 4, with the series relocated to Somerset, the Cowboys won a 12-2, five-inning run-rule in game 2. A call or two went against D’Hanis in game 3, wiping out a late-inning Cowboy rally in a 7-6, eight-inning loss. 

     The toughest call of the night came in the top of the eighth inning, when D’Hanis appeared to make a routine play at first base to end the inning. But after an official’s conference, the call was reversed, and the Fayetteville runner was ruled safe. More importantly to the game’s outcome, the call left a runner aboard at third. The ensuing base hit drove in the go-ahead run.

     In the bottom of the eighth, the Cowboys got potential tying run Thomas Beard around to third base, but he was left stranded there when the game ended.

     Wednesday, June 9, in the second 1A semifinal at the UIL 1A State Tournament, Fayetteville (17-9) was scheduled to face Region I champion Nazareth (22-3) at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The morning semifinal matched up Region II winner Hubbard and Region III champ Kennard. The 1A championship is Thurday morning, June 10, at 9 a.m.

     After the Thursday night rain delay in Kenedy, both teams were scoreless into the fifth inning. The Lions broke the ice with a run in the bottom of the inning, but the Cowboys tied it in the sixth. Layton Herrmann hit a one-out single and stole second base. Beard then singled to left, driving in the tying run.

     The Lions had the answer, however, with two on and two out. Back-to-back singles made it 4-1.

     The Cowboys loaded the bases in the seventh, but all three runners were left stranded.

     In Friday’s opener, D’Hanis broke things open in the second with five runs, and proceeded to add more each inning until securing a 12-2 win in five. Beard was 3-for-3 in the game, driving in four runs, with two hits each from Luke Langfeld, Eusebio Tapia and Dante Diaz. Tyler Rodriguez went the distance on the mound, picking up the win for the Cowboys.

     In the deciding game, the Lions led 3-0 after four innings before the Cowboys got into the contest. A bases-loaded triple by Ethan Reyes tied the game. Then in the bottom of the sixth, D’Hanis took the lead with three more runs, and the Cowboys found themselves three outs away from advancing to state.

     Fayetteville had other ideas, though, getting the bats going, getting a couple of free passes, and taking advantage of a D’Hanis error, one of four in the game. That allowed the Lions to tie the score at 6-6.

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PHOTOS / JEFF BERGER

D’Hanis head coach Todd Craft and assistant coach Peter Perez got the answer they weren’t looking for – that a Fayetteville runner, originally ruled out at first, was called safe. That extended the Lions’ inning, leading to the winning run. 

Senior Thomas Beard, stranded at third in the bottom of the eighth, walks off the field as Fayetteville celebrates an upcoming trip to state.