After Thursday’s night’s Game 1 heartbreaker, the Ball High Tors could’ve come out flat in Friday’s Game 2 and surrendered their playoff series to the Crosby Cougars, but that’s just not in the Galveston kids’ character.
Ball High got an excellent pitching performance from Dylan Whitehurst, was nearly flawless on defense in blustery conditions and did enough damage with the bats early to claw out a 3-1 win.
“I’ve been talking for a couple months about how tough we are and how we’re going to hang in there,” Ball High head coach Russell Ferrell said. “(Thursday) night was tough, but that’s the nature of our guys — tough bunch of Galveston guys.”
The win knots the best-of-three Ball High-Crosby Class 5A regional quarterfinal playoff series 1-1, and the deciding Game 3 will be played 1 p.m. today at Deer Park.
Whitehurst picked up the complete-game victory, giving up just three hits, three walks and one unearned run with five strikeouts over the course of seven innings.
After conceding Crosby’s only run of the game in the top of the first inning on a two-out, run-scoring grounder that took a wicked hop to get by shortstop Noah Trevino, the Tors wasted little time to make up for the Cougars’ run, tying the game in the bottom half of the first.
With one out in the frame, second baseman David Trevino worked a nine-pitch walk in a quality at-bat, and later with two down in the inning, Whitehurst raked a single into left field. The two base runners got into scoring position on a double steal, and Trevino raced home on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the second, right fielder Jo’el Williams smacked an RBI single to left field, scoring left fielder Jayson Rodriguez who reached base on a fielder’s choice and swiped second base to get into scoring position.
Crosby’s biggest threat to add to its runs total came in the top of the fourth when third baseman Jacob Bell led off with a single and pitcher Triston Scherer reached on a bunt that was bobbled in the field. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, but Whitehurst sat the next two batters down with a strikeout and a soft pop-up to shortstop to end the frame.
Heavily gusting wind played havoc with fielders on both sides all game long, but the Tors handled themselves well, highlighted by three consecutive high and wild pop ups fielded by first baseman Trent Raschke in the top of the seventh to end the game.
“Our kids were so excited about the weather,” Ferrell said. “We want salty wind because Crosby isn’t going to be used to it. So, we were thanking Mother Nature during batting practice. It was just like we like it, nice and sticky.”
Ball High collected just four base knocks (all singles) in the game, which were hit by Whitehurst, Noah Trevino, Rodriguez and Williams. Crosby’s Dylan Balderrama led off the game with a double for the contest’s only extra-base hit.