Coming into the bout both teams sported identical records of (22-2). The formidable Bulldogs’ team featured a few high caliber players including a catcher that is getting drafted, a pitcher who signed with Texas A&M, and two more returning All-State players. Last year’s Sweeny team ended their season at the state tournament one game short of a title.
All that being said, the Bobcats were up to the challenge. The Bulldogs were the visiting team and struck first off of starting pitcher Tyler Castellano.
A leadoff single was followed up by a double play ground ball that was mishandled. The Bobcats did manage to get the out at first but the Bulldog at second base would be the first run of the game as he tagged from 2nd all the way to home on a deep fly ball that was caught at the wall in right field. The Bobcats tried to answer in their half of the inning with a leadoff single followed by a bunt, but the inning came to a close without a run. In the 3rd inning the Bulldogs pushed across another run after benefitting from a walk, hit batter, and defensive error.
The Bulldogs #3 starting pitcher coasted through 4 innings despite scattering a few hits including a double by Cameron Loveday. In the 5th inning their #2 pitcher came in and continued to stifle the Bobcat bats. But in the 6th inning the Bobcats showed some signs of life. A leadoff single and stolen base by Travis Quintanilla put a runner in scoring position. A walk by JW Shipp was followed by a ground ball to third by Colton Carroll. The Carroll ground ball was misplayed then thrown away to first where it rolled into right field. That error scored Quintanilla pulling the Bobcats to within 2-1.
Defensively for the Bobcats Cole Van Ness came in and pitched two innings of scoreless relief in the 4th and 5th inning. Quintanilla came in to close the game with two more scoreless innings of relief. The Sweeny Bulldogs brought in their closer to seal the game in the 7th inning.
After a leadoff strike out, the Bulldog pitcher struggled with the Bobcats. Draigon Silvas got on base with a single up the middle and was followed by consecutive walks of Brett Wernli and Castellano.
With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 7th inning, the stage was set for a Bobcat comeback. As the pitcher began his windup, Silvas broke for home in what appeared to be a steal of home plate. As the ball reached the plate, Cameron Sternadel quickly stuck out his bat and laid down a perfect squeeze bunt towards first base.
The tying run crossed the plated safely as the pitcher fielded the ball and threw to first. The ball sailed high and into right field allowing the winning run to cross the plate in walk off fashion. The Bobcats had stole a come-from-behind victory by the final score of 3-2. The Bulldogs surrendered only their 3rd loss of the season.
With the win the Bobcats are now (23-2) for the season and still ranked #5 in 2A. They host George West and travel to Robstown this week for playoff tune up games. Next week the Bobcats will begin their playoff run against the winner of the Banquete/Santa Rosa series. “Thank you to all who support the Refugio Athletic Program,” said Coach Huerta.