AUSTIN – Just as the clock struck midnight at Concordia University’s Tornado Field early Saturday morning, so too did the Dripping Springs Tiger baseball team’s magical playoff run.
A 14th inning walk off RBI base hit by Rouse’s Keagan Solomon brought Dripping Springs’ dreams of a state tournament berth to a close as the Raiders escaped with a 2-1 win in Game 2 of the UIL Region IV-5A final. Rouse advanced to next week’s UIL 5A state tournament by sweeping Dripping Springs in two contests.
Dripping Springs (30-12-1) trailed 1-0 after four frames before battling back and tying the game in the fifth. Tiger senior and University of Texas at Austin baseball signee Cameron O’Banan took advantage of a pair of two out walks late in the fifth inning and ripped an RBI single to draw the score even.
Dripping Springs and Rouse then went toe-to-toe in a tense pitcher’s duel that went deep into extra innings. Dripping Springs’ pitching staff, which conceded 16 total walks in an 11-1 Game 1 loss to Rouse Thursday, limited the Raider offense to only four hits over the next eight frames. Tiger pitchers Brandon Arvidson and Cody Evans, backed up by a tenacious Tiger defense, forced Rouse to strand 10 runners on the base paths, highlighted by the Tigers escaping a bases loaded jam in the sixth.
However, Dripping Springs’ offense equally struggled against adept Rouse pitching, which limited Dripping Springs’ ability to cash in and score a go-ahead run late in the game.
Rouse, led by reliever Colby Diaz, who earned the win, forced the Tigers to strand 14 Tiger baserunners, including leaving the bases loaded in back-to-back innings in the 10th and the 11th frames.
The Raiders began their rally by getting two runners on base in the bottom of the 14th inning. Solomon ended the game by hitting the ball off the wall in left field to score the game-winning run.