Van Alstyne rallies late to end Rabbits’ baseball season

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2019 Atlanta Rabbits Baseball Team


EMORY, Texas – Van Alstyne spoiled an incredible effort by Atlanta senior Jake Thompson Saturday in the Region II-3A semifinals at Emory Rains High School.

Atlanta (20-10-1) won the second game in Saturday’s best-of-three series behind the pitching of Thompson, 2-1. The Rabbs’ star player started the third game on the mound, while contributing a home run, triple and single in a decisive 4-3 heart-breaking loss to the Panthers.

Thompson threw 65 pitches in the first game Saturday. He left the mound trailing 2-1 after three innings in the third game. Atlanta’s only run at that point was Thompson’s home run. It was frustrating for the Rabbs, who stranded seven runners in the first three innings.

The Rabbs tied the game in the fifth against winning pitcher Rhett Galagher. Thompson tripled, scoring on Max Ebarb’s sacrifice fly to center.

Van Alstyne pitchers hit hard

Atlanta fans got louder in the sixth after Mason singled. He was forced at second by Warren, who scored when Kade Wood doubled on a 3-2 offering from Gallagher. The Panthers’ unbeaten pitcher had to leave in the seventh after throwing 110 pitches. Zach Smith came on in relief, holding the Rabbs scoreless in the seventh despite yielding a single to Ebarb.

Ebarb suffered the pitching loss.

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Van Alstyne (27-5) was leading Saturday’s first game 1-0 going to the fourth inning. Ebarb doubled for the Rabbs’ first hit of the game. Andy Samples and Kelby Smith followed with run-scoring singles.

The three hits in the fourth were Atlanta’s only hits off Tormos, who lost his first game of the season. Gallagher drove in Van Alstyne’s only run with a single in the third off Thompson.

The Panthers advance to play Harmony or Gunter for the regional championship.

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