Antlers mount seventh inning rally for win in Game 1 - Sports

Antlers mount seventh inning rally for win in Game 1

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Posted: Friday, May 24, 2019 11:30 pm

VICTORIA – Trailing 3-1 and down to its last at-bat, Tivy dug deep in their TFND hearts to pull off an amazing 4-3 come-from-behind win over Mission Sharyland in Game 1 of the Class 5A Region IV semifinals Friday night.

“We never panicked,” Tivy coach Chris Russ said. “The guys knew they were still in it and said they wanted to get the win, and they did. This was a big win.”

The Antlers, fueled by a long home run from Cole Miears in the third inning, led off the top of the seventh with a single by Colten Drake, who later scored on a triple by Cooper Duennenberg to cut Tivy’s gap to 3-2.

Stoney Rhodes followed with a double, plating Duennenberg and knotting the score 3-3, and the winning run came on a pop up by Brady Delgado that landed just behind first base, allowing Rhodes to score and giving the Antlers their first lead of the night.

“Cole’s home run was definitely a confidence-booster,” Russ said. “And in the seventh inning, we had big hits from the guys in the bottom of the order. They really came through for us.”

After throwing 101 pitches on the mound, Delgado retired the first two Sharyland batters in the bottom of the seventh via long balls to right fielder Braden Jaeger and Luke Hale in center field.

Having reached his maximum allowed pitch count, Russ had to pull Delgado and brought Miears to the mound from the shortstop position to close out the inning.

“I told Brady he had a heck of game and that he got us where needed to be,” Russ said. “Brady gave a really gritty, gutsy performance tonight. He battled and pushed to get us deep in the game. He never gave up. We know that any time Brady’s on the mound we have a chance to win.”

Walker Grimes ended the contest when he snagged an infield fly ball at shortstop.

Collectively, the Antlers recorded nine hits. Duennenberg and Rhodes led Tivy’s offense, each going 2-for-3 and one RBI. Miears’ home run was his only hit of the night, but he was intentionally walked in the seventh inning.

Coleson Abel, Delgado, Travis White and Drake all recorded solo hits.

Delgado tossed 111 pitches for 67 strikes, allowing six hits and striking out five. Miears faced only two batters.

Russ said he has been impressed with the Antlers’ postseason defense.

“Throughout the playoffs, our defense has been playing really well. They are playing tight and with complete confidence.”

Russ said a win in Game 2 is not a given and his team will have to hold on to that confidence to prevail.

“They (Sharyland) are a good team,” Russ said. “They lost their first game in the last round and came back to win. We won’t be taking them for granted.”

The Antlers will play Game 2 against Sharyland on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi. Should a third game be necessary, Game 3 will be played 30 minutes later.

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