While it took all three games, the Dripping Springs baseball team advanced to the next round of the postseason by outlasting the Seguin Matadors in a best-of-3 bi-district series last week.
The Tigers punched their ticket by virtue of a 9-1 victory over the Matadors in Game 3. Dripping Springs advanced to the area round where it will take on the San Antonio Southwest Dragons.
The Tigers got excellent pitching in game one of the series from Nick Gullo, who held the Matadors to just two runs. While a lack of hitting with runners in scoring position kept the game close, the Tigers won the first game 3-2.
Game two took an extra two hours to get going due to weather, and the delay seemed to affect the Tigers.
Dripping Springs committed four fielding errors, helping Seguin roll to a 9-2 victory, forcing the rubber match to be played Saturday at San Marcos High.
Head Coach Chris Payne felt his team needed to calm down and play like they wanted it more than their opponents.
“I told them the stakes can’t be too big for us in game three,” Payne said. “We’ve got to want it more, and we have to come with a lot of grit.”
It didn’t take the Tigers long to show that grit in game three. Tiger Zach Tjelmeland opened up the scoring in the second frame with a single to left field that scored RJ Cabela. Ty Kaatz drove in two more runs on an opposite field double, and Ryan Davenport finished off the four-run inning with an infield single to score Kaatz. The Tigers jumped out to the early 4-0 lead and never looked back.
The Matador offense didn’t go quietly, however, as they made Dripping Springs starter Aiden Seligman work all game long. In three straight innings, Seguin managed to advance a runner to third base. In all three innings, Seligman and the Tigers avoided significant damage, allowing one run in the fourth frame.
Dripping Springs blew the game wide open in the fifth inning.
The Tigers added on five runs in the frame, highlighted by a two-run single from Cameron O’Banan. Seligman took the run support and ran with it, locking down the Matadors the rest of the way, and leading the Tigers to a 9-2 win and a 2-1 series victory.
Payne knows his team is ready after the big win and says they will stick to doing what they do best as they move on.
“I can’t be any happier for these guys right now.” Payne said. “We’re going to take it one practice at a time. We’re going to attack and put pressure on their defense.”
Davenport, Cabela, and Chris Tyree all reached base three times, and Cabela scored twice. O’Banan, Tjelmeland, and Kaatz all drove in two runs. Seligman pitched all seven innings for the Tigers, allowing just the one run on seven hits, and recorded four strikeouts.
Dripping Springs advances to play San Antonio Southwest in a best-of-3 series starting 5 p.m. Thursday at Somerset High. Game 2 will be played Friday at 1 p.m. in Dripping Springs, with an if necessary Game 3 played at the Northeast ISD Complex 9 a.m. Saturday.