One night after running away from Manvel, Santa Fe had to endure a marathon to win Game 2 and advance to the regional quarterfinal round of the Class 5A baseball tournament.
The Indians, who jumped to a big early lead, saw the Mavs tie the game after six innings. But coach Ronnie Wulf’s team fashioned four runs in the top of the 10th inning for a 9-6 victory in the Region III-5A area round at Barbers High High School late Saturday night.
Santa Fe will meet Barbers Hill in the next round, but Wulf said his team needs to tighten its focus.
“The fight in the end was really, really good. I mean their pitcher had trouble throwing strikes … we did what we needed to do,” said Wulf, whose club ran over Manvel 15-0 in five innings on Friday. “But I was disappointed. We got five runs really quick and then it’s like we stopped, we didn’t keep putting the pressure on.
“We had runners on almost every inning. We just need that one guy to step up and be the guy and get that hit and we didn’t get it.”
Santa Fe left 12 runners on base over the first eight innings. In the 10th, Manvel’s Dillan Novak came on to pitch, but the junior struggled from the very first pitch and uncorked a series of wild throws. The Indians pushed across four runs without putting a ball in play before Landon Thompson’s RBI single made it 9-5.
With the game tied after six innings, Wulf turned to ace Rome Schubert, who pitched three-plus scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
“He was at 60 pitches (Friday night) so we’re like, ‘hey, if he feels OK, you can come back and throw an inning,” said Wulf, “But he came in and shut down three innings and I couldn’t be more proud of that.”
Santa Fe looked like it was in good shape with a 5-0 lead after four innings.
In a three-run second inning, Dalton Stevens, Albert Garza and Nicholas McDonald lashed back-to-back singles — each with two out — after Thompson was hit by a pitch.
The Indians put together another two-out rally in third as Bryce Montemayor scored on a wild pitch and Garza lined an RBI single to center for a 5-0 advantage.
After checking the Mavericks on two hits through four innings, Stevens, the Santa Fe starter, lost his rhythm and Manvel jumped on the opportunity.
Fueled by five hits, including a long three-run double by Ladarius Owens, the Mavs struck four times in the bottom of the fifth. Jackson Sweeny’s third single of the night brought home Dillan Novak as Manvel made it 5-5 after six innings