POWDERLY, Texas — Sixteen years ago Liberty-Eylau earned its second straight appearance in the UIL State Baseball Tournament. The Leopards won the school’s first title in 2006 behind the pitching of Will Middlebrooks and Zach Fowler. Middlebrooks and Fowler were back in 2007, but lost to a hard-hitting Jasper team.
Fowler is back in 2023, having replaced his father as head coach. L-E’s young guru has led the Leopards past five teams this postseason, including 4A’s second-ranked Celina in Friday’s Region 2 final, 5-4.
Late rally qualifies L-E for state tournament
“It is a huge win for our program,” said Fowler, winning pitcher in the 2006 title game. “It is a testament to our kids and their toughness. To battle it out with a great team like Celina and come out with a win was huge and now we will turn our attention to the state tournament.”
The Bobcats (35-5) scored three runs off junior W.T.Jones in the third. Tristan Haugh singled home the Leopards’ first run in their half of the third. Jones’ older brother took over on the mound and held Celina scoreless until the seventh.
L-E chased RJ Ruais from the mound, scoring four runs against Noah Bentley. Ruais and Bentley drove in the Bobcats’ four runs.
Winning pitcher Cal Jones drove home one run and Haugh’s second run-scoring hit tied the game. W.T. Jones drove in the decisive fifth run on a long fly to center.