Bulldogs top Burton, Shiner up next
The Thorndale Bulldogs swept Burton in two games last week to advance to the next round of the playoffs against Shiner.
Game 1 will be on Thursday at 7 p.m., game 2 will be on Friday at 7 p.m., and if needed, game 3 will be on Saturday at 2.m. All games will be played at La Grange High School.
The baseball team traveled to Mumford to play the Burton Panthers in the area round of the playoffs last Thursday. The Bulldogs swept the series with the Panthers 2-0 to advance to the next round.
Game 1 took place on Thursday. Thorndale was victorious over the Panthers, winning 5-1. Burton got things started in the first inning as the Panthers drove in one with a triple to centerfield.
The score stayed 1-0 Burton until the fourth inning when the Bulldogs took the lead with three clutch runs. In that fourth inning, Logan Davis tripled on a fly ball to centerfield, scoring one run, JD Alcalar hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring another run, and the other run came when the Panthers committed an error off a ball hit by Broedie Salas. Thorndale then pulled away for good in the sixth and seventh inning, scoring one run in each inning. Both of those runs came off a fielding error by Burton.
Of the six hits Thorndale had, Hunter Thigpen went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the team in hits. Davis was on the mound for the Bulldogs. He went all seven innings, allowing only one run on just two hits, striking out nine and walking one. The Bulldogs returned on Friday to finish the job, and did just that in shutout fashion. Thorndale defeated Burton 10-0 in five innings due to the enforcement of the 10-run rule.
The Bulldogs fired up the offense in the first inning, when Luke Merz singled on a groundball to the shortstop, scoring one run. Thorndale piled on as they put up four runs in the second inning for a 5-0 lead. Kaden Kovar, Luke Merz, and Logan Davis each had RBIs in the big inning. After scoring one run in the third and another in the fourth for a 7-0 lead, the Bulldogs sealed the 10 run rule with three runs to end the game early and complete the sweep. The runs came from Coy Stutts scoring on a passed ball, a bases loaded walk for Merz, and a fielding error by Burton off a groundball by Davis. Thorndale tallied nine hits in the game. Merz, Stutts, and Kovar all managed multiple hits for the Bulldogs. Merz led the team with three hits in three at bats.
“It all started on the mound. Bryson Beran, it was probably the best game he’s thrown all year,” Coach Kelly Kuhl said. “He came out and shut them down in the top of the first, we get the leadoff runner on third and find a way to score. We said just keep waiting on the ball and hitting the baseball. We put the ball in play, good things will happen, and that’s what we did; either a base hit or they make an error, whatever. That’s what I told the kids after the game. We put a run on the board every inning, that’s what good teams do.”
Beran led things off on the mound for Thorndale. The lefthander threw a shutout, allowing just two hits and no runs over five innings, striking out six and walking zero.
“He did a great job of hitting his spots tonight. He was able to throw his curveball at any count and throw it for strikes,” Kuhl said. “That’s the main thing, he let his defense work behind him.”
Up next for the Bulldogs will be the Shiner Comanches in the regional quarterfinals.
“It’s going to be a tough one, but we’re getting what we got,” Kuhl said. “We got a lot of guys on the mound that’ll compete. We’re going to compete at the plate, we hit the ball well, we hit good pitches, and play good defense. It’s the same thing we’ve been doing all year. You don’t change your game plan, you just do the little things right and just get after it.”