CEDAR PARK – Tivy’s late season run of baseball successes skidded to a heartbreaking end Saturday when Cedar Park came up with two runs following two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge the Antlers, 7-6, and win the two teams’ best-of-three Class 5A bi-district series, 2-0.
The Timberwolves took Game 1 on Friday, 4-1, at Antler Field.
Tivy finished the year 15-18 after being 3-7 at one point in District 26-5A play. The Antlers ripped off five wins in their final six games to get into postseason play as the district’s fourth-place seed.
Cedar Park improved to 28-6-2 after coming out of District 25-5A as the No. 1 seed.
Saturday it appeared the Antlers might be overmatched against the Timberwolves, who blasted out to a 5-0 lead through four innings, but Tivy rolled out of the dugout in the fifth to score four runs and trailed just 5-4 at the end of the frame. Tivy’s rally began with one out when Coleson Abel singled in Cooper Duennenberg for the Antlers’ initial run. Kale Lackey singled in Travis White for the second run of the inning, and Eric Tenery’s fielder’s choice brought home Abel and Walker Grimes.
When the top of the sixth came around, Tivy tied the Timberwolves 5-5 with one out when Duennenberg singled in Fisher Roberts, who had reached on an error. White doubled in Duennen-berg with the go-ahead run and the Antlers took a 6-5 lead into the seventh.
Cedar Park was down to its final out in the final frame with runners at first and second when a ground ball brought in the tying run, 6-6, and the prospect of extra innings faded away after a passed ball resulted in the winning run.
Tenery started and went two innings for Tivy, allowing six hits and striking out two. Sam Letz came on in relief for four innings and struck out six while giving up three hits. Letz worked out of a real jam in the bottom of the sixth when he allowed the leadoff runner to get on base, then forced two ground balls and whiffed a batter to get out of the inning.
Fisher Roberts struck out one and allowed one hit in two-thirds innings of relief in the seventh.
In Friday’s matchup, Cedar Park pulled ahead early as well, leading 4-1 after five innings and frustrating Tivy’s attempts to advance, which resulted in the Antlers stranding 11 base runners. Tivy left 18 in all when both games were combined.
Tivy’s lone run came in the bottom of the fifth and was scored by White, who took advantage of a passed ball. Hit-wise, Lackey was tops with two of the team’s five raps. Abel, Tenery and Roberts posted the other hits.
Abel finished his high school pitching career in Game 1 and went 6-2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and five hits allowed. Abel will wear a Texas Tech uniform at the next level.
Letz relieved for one-third.
“Coleson overall competed hard. The Cedar Park coaching staff said he’s the best pitcher they faced all season,” Tivy coach Chris Russ said.