Despite a late rally, the Hays Rebel baseball team Friday couldn’t pull off a major upset of the state ranked Lake Travis Cavaliers.
Instead, Lake Travis (14-0) prevailed 11-6 in game one of the three-game district opening series. The Cavs then clinched the series on March 10 when they defeated Hays 5-4 in Game 2 of the three-game set.
Entering the March 9 contest, the Rebels had won four of their last five games.
They got off on the right foot when Hays’ Aidan Martinez laced a single into right field to score Garrison Vaughn, which gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The next two innings went by in short order, with both pitchers finding a groove. Martinez recorded three of his five total strikeouts in the second and third frames.
The Cavaliers finally got to him in the fourth inning, however, working the bases loaded with no outs. Thanks to three base hits and a hit by pitch, the Cavaliers got five runs on the board in the inning. It took a solid jumping catch from Hays second basemen Seth Stephenson to end the inning, but by then, the damage was done.
Lake Travis kept the Rebels in check for the next few innings and began to pour it on offensively. Following a pair of runs scored due to a pair of errors from the Rebels, the Cavaliers hit a big three run home run to left field, and in a flash, they led 10-1 in the fifth inning. The home run chased Martinez from the game. He finished with five strikeouts, allowing 10 runs, seven earned, on eight hits in four and a thirds innings pitched.
The Cavaliers added another run in the next inning off of a RBI double.
The Rebels went into the bottom of the sixth inning trailing 11-1.
The offense then suddenly sprang to life. Chase Ruston, Jackson Massey, Uli Tovar, Seth Stephenson, and Zane Lilljedahl all recorded RBI base hits, with Lilljedahl’s hit being a double.
Lilljedahl’s double was the lone extra base hit for the Rebels on the night. Despite the big sixth inning rally, and Isidro Tovar’s spotless top of the seventh inning on the mound, the Rebels could not muster the five runs they needed to force extra innings and fell to Lake Travis 11-6.
Half of the Rebel lineup finished with run scoring base hits at some point throughout the game.
Tovar finished 2 for 3 with an RBI. Lilljedahl finished 1-3 with a double, a run scored and a run batted in, while Vaughn scored twice.
Hays opened a three-game set against Westlake March 14, with the final two games of the series being played March 15 and 16 at Hays High.