Cardinals drop heart breaking marathon to Longhorns
By Caleb Adams
HAMSHIRE – The Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns beat the Bridge City Cardinals 9-8 at The Box in Hamshire in the Class 4A Region III bidistrict playoffs in a long and thrilling 12-inning affair that would end on a tough throw and a stolen base for the Longhorns.
Austin Baker got start for the Longhorns (22-5-2) on the mound. He and Bridge City (14-13-1) ace Carpenter would battle throughout most of the game, but Baker would outlast him and last till the seventh inning. Baker gave up 11 hits, just one walk and record six strikeouts on the night in six and two-thirds innings pitched. The seventh inning spelled trouble for Baker as the Cardinals rushed back with some big hits and Baker’s night ended in the top of the seventh inning after hitting his max pitches.
Mason Stark would get the win for the Longhorns, throwing the last 5 innings while holding the Cardinals back and giving his team the chance they needed to take the win. He would give up two hits and collect five strikeouts in his outing. After Baker came out, Stark kept the hope alive for the Longhorns the rest of the game.
Carpenter went five and one-third innings giving up 9 hits, two walks and recording seven strikeouts on the night. He had a solid game up until the bottom of the sixth where the Longhorns found their sticks and put together a massive rally for six runs.
Slade Foreman came in for the next six innings and did a great job. He recorded six strikeouts and allowed one hit on the night, and the only run he gave up was unearned to finish the game.
Offensively the Cardinals had a few players step up. Shaun Hallman came through with a massive two-run homerun in the seventh to send this one to extras. He wouldn’t be the only one as Kade Benoit smacked a solo shot in the fifth inning. The Cardinals hit great overall with 11 hits tallied, they just fell a little short offensively in the final innings.
With 10 hits for the Longhorns, the majority of the lineup had a chance to shine throughout the night. One that stood out was Tyler Roggencamp, as he went three for five with three singles, two RBIs and a run scored.Hitting in the three hole, Roggencamp did a great job making contact and moving runners around in key spots.
The Longhorns took the lead in the bottom of the first, thanks to some creative running. Baker and Roggencamp would get two back to back singles to get things going. Mason Stark hit into a fielder’s choice moving Baker to third base. Stark would take off for an early steal, Carpenter tried to throw him out at second but Baker took off home. Without issue Baker came across to score. The Longhorns took a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The Cardinals took back that run in a similar fashion in the top of the third inning. Brice Swanton would start things off with a single, and swiped second base during the next at bat. Slade Foreman beat out a close play to move the runners to third and first base. Foreman would take off for second base, on a bad throw Swanton made his way home for the score. Kade Benoit would kept the rally going with a liner up the middle to score Foreman from second base. The Cardinals take a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.
The Cardinals extended their lead with a rally in the top of the fourth inning. Shaun Hallman and John Van Huis would reach on a single and bunt. A fielder’s choice from Jude Danks got Hallman out at third on the next at bat, putting runners on first and second with one out. JS Bearden hit a liner up the middle to score Huis from second base and move Danks to third base. Swanton hit a grounder to first, the ball was bobbled, allowing Danks to score on the play as theCardinals took a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
Benoit took Baker deep to extend the Cardinals’ lead. Benoit would connect on one and send it high over the right field fence for a solo homer to give the Cardinals a 5-1 edge.
The Longhorns took back some of the Cardinals’ lead in the bottom of the fifth. Baker would single to lead things off, and steal second base during the next at bat. Mason Stark singled to right field scoring Baker from second base. That’s all they would find as the Cardinals still led 5-2 heading into the sixth inning.
The Longhorns came screaming back to close the gap and take the lead over the Cardinals. Korbin Winkler would start with a single, followed by two errors which would put on Landon Hein and Evan Viator to load the bases. Baker hit into another error letting Winkler and Hein score from second and third base. Roggencamp stroked a liner up the middle and scored Baker and Viator for the fourth run of the inning. Reese King would keep it going, hitting into an error, scoring Roggencamp and Stark on the play for the Longhorns.
The Cardinals were not going down so easily as they made a last ditch effort for the win. Kade Benoit hit into a fielder’s choice to get on with one out. JT Fielder laced a single down the first base line and scored Benoit to shrink the lead to just two runs.
The big man, Shaun Hallman came in for the Cardinals in the clutch to tie the game and keep the Cardinals playoff run alive. Fielder reached on a single with one out and gave the Cardinals a chance to do something. Hallman came up and crushed one over the tall right field fence to bring in himself and Fielder, and tied the game up at 8-8.
Both teams would go back and forth, late into the night, not willing to give up their season so easily, but the Longhorns found a way.
The Longhorns figured out a way to end the marathon and take the game in the bottom of the 12th inning. Viator would reach on a walk, and swiped second base. A wild pitch would let him advance to third, but on a bad throw it let him race home for the winning run as the Longhorns pulled out the win in 12 long innings.
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