TYLER, Texas — The Atlanta Rabbits took care of the Grandview Zebras 4-2 in Game 1 of the regional semifinals Wednesday evening.
The Superior Realty Player of the Game was Kelby Smith with nine strikeouts, seven innings pitched, and one earned run.
“I really just tried to fight and be the biggest, best competitor on the field,” Smith said. “I want to give the biggest heart to my team and just lay it all on the line for those guys.”
The A-Jim’s Dirtiest Player of the Game was Ty Graph, who was exemplary at catcher with zero passed balls, which was critical for the Rabbs as they earned victory amid a two-run ballgame.
“There were a few bad pitches, but if I can’t a few bad pitches every now and then, then I don’t need to be back there,” Graph said. “That’s my job.”
Coach Dave Hooten was impressed with the way Smith held the Zebras until they were able to get to the start digging into their order to manufacture runs.
“Never really hit anything hard,” Hooten said. “But when you get teams out of position, it really makes a difference. So, we were able to create some movement out of them and kind of manufacture runs, I guess you could call it.”
Hooten was also impressed with Smith’s way of not giving in to Grandview, even though he got behind in a few counts.
“But he came right back,” said Hooten.
The Rabbs play the Zebras at 4:30 p.m on KPYN. If Grandview wins Game 2, the third and final game of the series would be at 4:00 p.m. Friday.