Amid a late-inning Lehman Lobo rally Tuesday, the Bowie Bulldogs quite literally pulled a trick from under their gloves.
Successful use of the hidden ball trick on a fake pickoff attempt allowed Bowie to record the final out in a stunning 5-3 win over Lehman, bringing the Lobos’ playoff hopes to a heartbreaking end.
The Lobos finish the regular season 12-17 and will finish in fifth place in the District 25-6A baseball standings.
Senior starting pitcher Shane Miles had his hands full with the Bulldogs early on.
Bowie got on the board first when a fielding error from the Lobos allowed a run to come across. The Bulldogs added another run on a groundout to take early 2-0 lead through the first inning.
Lobo defensive struggles persisted in the second inning. Two more Bowie runs crossed the plate via a pair of Lehman throwing errors. Meanwhile, the Lobo offense struggled to get anything going, allowing Bowie to take control of the game.
The Bulldogs added another run in the fifth as fielding miscues piled up for the Lobos.
In the sixth frame, Lehman showed signs of life on offense. Austin Gonzales scored on a single from Lucas Abbott and Lehman crawled back into contention, cutting the Bowie lead to 5-1. Lehman’s offense sprung back to life in the bottom of the seventh inning.
With a runner on second base, JJ Castro laced a deep double to centerfield that got over a Bulldog’s head, allowing Albert Martinez to come around and score. John Murillo followed that up with a diving slide into first to secure the infield single, sending Castro home. The Lobos trailed 5-3 with a runner on second and Emory Saucedo as the potential game tying run at the plate.
The Bulldogs had other plans, however, pulling off a fake pick off, hidden ball trick to end the game.
Miles went 6,1 innings pitched and recorded nine strikeouts and five runs allowed, none of them earned. The Lobos scored three runs on six hits. Head Coach Tony Robinson felt his team showed integrity despite the tough loss.
“I’m just proud. Proud of the kids, the fight,” Robinson said. “They came in and fought all the way down to the very end.”
The Lobos will have to replace some valuable pieces next season as the seniors leaving the team have left some big shoes to fill, according to Robinson.
“They’re amazing,” Robinson said. “I love them all.”