The Clear Springs Chargers showed the resiliency built throughout a season filled with challenges, but couldn’t overcome the Alvin Shadow Creek Sharks, who swept a doubleheader Saturday at Baytown Lee High School to win the teams’ Region III-6A bi-district series.
In both games, Clear Springs — which won the first game of the best-of-three series 5-1 on Friday — rallied back into it after falling into big deficits, but Shadow Creek managed to withstand the Chargers to pick up the wins.
“They just kept competing,” Clear Springs head baseball coach Chris Floyd said. “Really, the difference today was they made more plays than us. We had some chances to make innings where they don’t score, and they turned into big innings.
“We competed when there were some times when we could’ve laid down, so I’m super proud of that,” Floyd added.
Clear Springs loses just four regular starters to graduation, albeit four key cogs in the lineup: third baseman Parker Lee, first baseman Jordan Boothe, catcher Hayden See and pitcher Cory Patterson.
“We’ve got a good group coming back, but we’re losing some pretty key people,” Floyd said. “The two corners and the catcher are pretty valuable to us; they’re our three top hitters.”
But, Floyd said the program has a promising crop of young players who should help the program in the right direction.
“The future looks good,” Floyd said. “There are just some things that we as coaches have to evaluate. We put a lot of time and effort into pushing them to be good people.”
GAME 3 RECAP
The Sharks had a big bottom of the second inning, and got a strong pitching performance from Addison Parker to record a 6-4 win in the series clincher.
After a run scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the first, Shadow Creek pushed its lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the second on a pair of two-run singles clipped by Tre Broussard and Aidan Griggsby.
The Chargers kept their hopes alive with two runs apiece in the top of the fifth and sixth. Boothe blasted a two-run home run over the left-field wall in the fifth, Jake Townsend hit an RBI single in the sixth, and See drew a bases loaded walk. In between the two run-scoring plays, relief pitcher got two bases-loaded strikeouts to prevent further damage.
Sabian Hernandez drew a leadoff walk, raced to third on an errant pick-off throw, and then pinch runner Donte Lewis scored on a two-out wild pitch for an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
Parker tossed 5.1 innings with four hits, three earned runs, one walk and three strikeouts after tossing the final 3.1 shutout innings (two hits, four strikeouts) of Game 2 to preserve the win.
Relief pitcher Jose Vargas gave the Chargers quality innings to keep them in the game — throwing four innings with one unearned run, one hit, two walks and two strikeouts.
GAME 2 RECAP
Trailing 8-2, Clear Springs tied the game with a six-run bottom of the sixth inning, but Shadow Creek ultimately prevailed in a 10-8 extra-innings win.
In the bottom of the sixth, a run scored on a passed ball, Mason Pean drew a bases-loaded walk, Vargas and Connor Habhab hit RBI singles, a run scored on an error, and See smacked a two-run single.
But, in the top of the ninth, Hernandez walloped a two-run double for the game-winning runs.
The Chargers plated the game’s first runs in the bottom of the third on Boothe’s two-run single, but Shadow Creek scored four in the top of the fifth and four more in the top of the sixth to take what appeared to be a commanding lead.
In the fifth, Hernandez hit an RBI single, Broussard lined a two-run double and a run scored on a double play ball. In the sixth, Broussard had an RBI single, Ethan Rios clubbed an RBI double, and Griggsby crushed a two-run home run.
Vargas finished 3-for-5 at the plate, while Habhab (2-for-5), Boothe (2-for-4) and See (2-for-5) also had multi-hit games.