TYLER, Texas – Pleasant Grove moves on to the Region II-4A quarterfinals against Kilgore or Wills Point after eliminating Brownsboro Thursday night, 7-4 and 1-0.
“Anytime you come down and travel to play in the playoffs it’s huge,” said winning coach Riley Fincher. “We’re happy with the outcome tonight, but we definitely know we’ve got a lot of practice ahead of us. There’s a lot of stuff we can improve on.
“Originally, we weren’t going to play two games tonight, but the weather forecast for Friday isn’t good. It’s hard to win one, much less two in the same day. We’re just very happy with the outcome.”
The Hawks had an answer for everything Brownsboro threw at it in the series opener at Mike Carter Field.
The Hawks (25-4) never trailed in the first game. Every time Brownsboro scored, the Hawks would answer in their next at-bat.
Nick Voyles started on the mound for Pleasant Grove. He earned the win, going 4.2 innings. Marshall Oubre came on in the bottom of the fifth to get the final seven outs of the game.
Hawks’ Jackson scores in first against Brownsboro
Pleasant Grove scored quickly in the game after a leadoff triple by Jackson Cobb. He trotted home on Ben Harmon’s single.
Marshall Cox had a two-run single in the third, and plated two more in the seventh with a double off the right field fence. Seth Hopkins also had a run-scoring double in the game.
Keaton Russo, Hopkins and Cox finished with two hits each.
The winner of this series advances to play Kilgore or Wills Point in next week’s quarterfinals.
Second game ends with controversy
Brownsboro players and fans were celebrating in the seventh inning of the second game, thinking they had just tied the score at 1-1 on a forceout at second.
However, the Bears’ baserunner slid through the bag, knocking PG second baseman Parker Twisdale off balance, who was throwing to first for a possible game-ending doubleplay. The second base umpire immediately called interference on the baserunner, and the game was history.
“You don’t usually see that call with a two-man umpire crew, but tonight we had four umpires,” said Fincher. “It was the right call. The kid slid through the bag trying to break up the doubleplay. He ran into Twisdale. It’s unfortuate that it was the last play of the game.”
Both pitchers in the game were outstanding. Southaw Ryan Galvan was never seriously challenged until the final frame. He struck out four, and got brilliant defensive help from his teammates.
The Hawks’ run scored in the bottom of the sixth after Twisdale singled down the right field line. One out later pinch-runner Brock Bearden stole second. Jackson Cobb walked, and Bearden scored three pitches later when Keaton Russo lined a hit over the centerfielder’s head.
Cobb had stopped at third, and Russo was called out for passing Cobb on the base paths between first and second.