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Bulldogs headed for Regional Semifinals

The Thorndale Bulldogs baseball team traveled to Mumford High School last week to take on the Iola Bulldogs in the Regional Quarterfinals and they were victorious. 

Next up for the Bulldogs will be a series against the Ganado Indians in the Regional Semifinals. 

Game 1 was on Wednesday, May 17, at Hallettsville, game 2 will be Thursday, May 23, at Bastrop at 7 p.m., and game 3 if needed will be Saturday, May 25, at Hallettsville at 4 p.m. Thorndale won by sweeping Iola in the series 2-0. 

Thorndale opened the scoring early in the first inning with one run to take a 1-0 lead. The run was scored on a hard hit ground ball single to center field from Kaden Kovar. Thorndales offense was held in check for the remainder of the game until the top of the seventh inning when they would add to their lead with two runs to take a 3-0 lead. Gunner Ferguson smoked a line drive triple to left field, bringing in a run, then he came home to score on a passed ball that got by the catcher. 

“That was huge,” Coach Kelly Kuhl said. “We knew that their 1 (pitcher) was about at the pitch count. We went up there, we were going to see a strike. The 8 hole (Hunter Brantley) does a great job of getting a leadoff walk. Probably should’ve got him bunted over on a base hit, but that didn’t happen. Then Gunner comes up with a big hit and the passed ball was huge to give us that third run.” 

Iola came alive in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runs to close the gap to 3-2. Iola had a chance to tie the game but committed a base running error with a runner on second and third base with one out. Thorndale came through on defense with a crazy double play to seal the game. Shortstop, Gunner Ferguson, fielded a ground ball and threw to Jaxon Eschberger at first base for the first out, then Jaxon was able to throw out the runner on third base as he attempted to come home to score for the double play.

“Just a ground ball there,” Kuhl said. “Honestly it’s probably the kid (base runner) at seconds fault who came to third (base). We ran at him, that kid at third had to make a decision whether he should go (home) or not. He kind of hesitated and we made the play.” 

Thorndale was outstanding on defense and didn’t commit a single error. Much of that Thorndale defense included a bases loaded situation in the fourth inning where they came out of the inning unharmed and the incredible double play in the bottom of the seventh inning to end the game. 

“That’s huge,” Kuhl said. “That’s our backbone, pitching and defense. We always talk about how we’ll find ways to score, but we’re going to play good defense and we’re going to pitch and the kids did that tonight. We got into some situations and they found ways to get outs.” 

Jaxon Eschberger started on the mound for Thorndale. The lefty surrendered three hits and zero runs over six innings, striking out nine and walking six. Kade Becker appeared in one inning of relief for Thorndale. He allowed two hits and two runs with one walk. 

Game 2 took place on Saturday and Thorndale came out on top, winning 4-1 to advance. Thorndale opened the scoring in the first inning with two runs to take an early 2-0 lead. Jaxon Eschberger doubled on a hard ground ball to left field, scoring two runs. Iola answered with a run in the third inning to close the gap to 2-1, but Thorndale responded with a run in the fifth inning and a run in the sixth inning to win the game 4-1 and complete the series sweep.  

Thorndale tallied 10 total hits in the game. Jaxon Eschberger provided pop in the lineup, and led the team with three runs batted in along with hitting 2-for-3 on the day. Jayden Clawson, Rowdy Casner, and Jaxon Eschberger each collected two hits for Thorndale. Thorndale also ran wild on the base paths, stealing five bases for the game. Gunner Ferguson opened the game on the mound for Thorndale. He gave up four hits and one run (zero earned) over seven innings, striking out six and walking two.

The Cameron Herald

The Cameron Herald
P.O. Box 1230
Cameron, Texas 76520

Phone: 254-697-6671
Fax: 254-697-4902