Steady pitching helped the Dripping Springs Tiger baseball team sweep the LBJ Jaguars and advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Dripping Springs (24-8-1) opened the series with a dominant 4-0 win May 3, followed by a 12-6 win over LBJ on May 5.
The Tigers advance to play the Richmond Foster Falcons in a best-of-three game series. Game 1 is scheduled for May 10 at 7 p.m., with Game 2 Friday at 7 p.m. An if-necessary third game would be played May 12 at 1 p.m.
Neither team got much in the way of offense throughout the first two innings. The Tigers looked like they may be falling behind early when LBJ got runners on first and second with only one out in the first, but a double play turned by Johnny Hoyle ended the threat.
In the bottom half of the third, Brittain Howeth and Nathan Koch both reached base, and then pulled off a successful double steal to put themselves at second and third with only one out.
Tiger Justin Dunlap then brought them home on a deep fly ball to right-center field that the LBJ centerfielder lost in the lights, resulting in a unique two RBI triple for Dunlap. On the very next pitch, Dunlap scored on a wild pitch, giving Dripping Springs a 3-0 lead.
Tiger junior pitcher Nick Gullo continued to dominate over the next few innings, reaching double-digit strikeouts in the fifth frame. The Jaguars got men on the base-paths, but Gullo and the defense did not allow any runs to cross the board.
Meanwhile, the Tigers extended its lead in the fourth frame, when Zach Young came in to score on an RBI single from Nico Ramirez. Neither team got anything going in the fifth and sixth, leaving only the seventh inning for the LBJ Jaguars to come back and tie.
AG Yowell pitched the seventh and kept LBJ off the board in the final frame.
Gullo struck out 11 Jaguars over the course of six innings and only allowing 4 hits, while walking only one batter.
Offensively, the Tigers outhit the Jaguars. Koch finished 3 for 3 with a run scored and two stolen bases. Justin Dunlap delivered the big blow, going 1 for 3 with a triple and two RBIs.