City rivals Trinity and St. James went down to the last at bat, and the Wildcats got the last laugh.
A scoreless game in the bottom of the seventh, Trinity’s John Hall came through with the first walk off of his career to lift the Wildcats to a 1-0 victory in Game 2 to win the series.
Trinity won the first game 7-2 and has advanced to the Class 4A state quarterfinals.
“Never actually (hit a walk off), not that I can remember. That was pretty awesome,” Hall said. “I just told myself to stay calm and use the approaches that the coaches gave me. Knew that I couldn’t chase anything, and couldn’t let any strikes get by me.”
Hall’s teammates rushed the field and surrounded him after reaching first base.
“It looked like something from a movie,” Hall said.
Hall scored Robert Adams for the winning run, who hit a single to start the final inning. Connor Franklin struck out four batters in 6<AF>1/3<XA> innings, and Charlie Leisy got the win in relief.
“Connor Franklin did a great job today. He pitched so well, and I think we played really good defense,” Trinity coach Ken Whittle said. “John Hall, big hit right there with two outs and the bases loaded. Good job. I’m really proud of our guys.”
A six-run sixth inning lifted Trinity to victory in Game 1. Adams drove in a run and got the win on the mound. He struck out 10 in 6<AF>1/3<XA> innings. Dalton Hill and Michael Sellers each scored a run. Chandler Barrow had two RBIs, and Parker Watts had one RBI.
For St. James, M.J. Melendez led the way going 3-for-3. Robert Lee and Tyler Robertson each had an RBI. Brady Greene took the loss, striking out five in 5<AF>1/3<XA> innings.
“Hats off to Trinity, they did what they had to do. We battled. I’m proud of my guys for getting after it. We just didn’t get luck with some of our hits,” St. James coach Keith Lucky said. “It just wasn’t our night. Any given night, the ball can fall differently. It’s just how this game is.”
Hall said the Wildcats’ win helped heal the wounds from last year’s playoffs, when the then two-time reigning champs were knocked out in the first round.
Hosting the quarterfinals next week, Trinity is hoping to return to the form of its 2012 and 2013 seasons.
“Last year we got put out in the first round. To go to the third round at least this year, it means a lot to us,” Hall said. “It’s a challenge because we know what we’re capable of doing with this coaching staff. We have high expectations.”