Texarkana Twins manager Bill Clay had two aces up his sleeve Saturday night at George Dobson Field.
Christian Boulware’s walk-off hit to the fence in left-center, made Twins’ pitcher Colten Davis a winner in Texarkana’s first-ever postseason game at home over Victoria, 2-1. An estimated 600 fans were present to witness the historic win. The best-of-three series continues Sunday night in Victoria.
This is the Twins third season in the Texas Collegiate League. They’ve advanced to the playoffs all three years, losing the first two seasons at Brazos Valley and Victoria.
Davis first Twins pitcher to go the distance on mound
Davis, who plays his college baseball at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, becomes the first Twins’ pitcher this summer to go the distance. After giving up a run and two hits in the first inning, Davis blanked the Generals on five hits the rest of the way. He walked one and struck out five.
“I went into the game thinking I’ve got to go as far I can go,” said Davis. “Everybody did their job tonight. Our outfielders were great. I told everybody we’re going to win this one in the bottom of the ninth. It seemed like everything was against us, we’ve lost so many players. We love playing in Victoria, they always have an amazing crowd. We always play well there.”
The winning rally started with Reese Durand drawing a walk off losing pitcher Zach Smith. Ryne Randle lined a single to right, and with two outs J.J. Flores was intentionally walked to load the bases. Boulware drilled the first pitch he saw, and was immediately swarmed by his teammates in the middle of the infield.
Boulware was excited to get opportunity
“I was excited when they walked J.J., it was like a challenge to me,” said Boulware. “I was ready to go.
“Colten was something else tonight. I’m just glad we got it done, and he got the win that he richly deserved. I like our chances going to Victoria. We’ve been playing people out of position, but now we’re rested and the guys can play their natural positions. We’ve got a team of competitors.”
The Twins also scored their first run in the opening frame. Durand drew the first of three walks he had in the game, and promptly stole second. He scored easily when Flores smashed a hit past the third baseman.
Both teams had scoring opportunities after that, with the Twins leaving the bases loaded twice.
The Twins third baseman Shea Gutierrez was hit in the head by a pitch. He remained in the game for another inning, but was taken to a local hospital later. Boulware replaced Gutierrez at third.