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Katy Taylor sent shockwaves throughout the state Tuesday, rallying to upset No. 3 state-ranked Katy, 5-3, at Katy High School.
KATY—Katy Taylor’s baseball team sent shockwaves Tuesday evening, rallying from a two-run deficit in the seventh inning to stun No. 3 state-ranked Katy, 5-3, at Katy High.
Junior Joe Jefferson drilled a one-out two-run home run to left field in the seventh to tie the game 3-3, and sophomore Chase Marshall followed with a two-out, two-run single to put the Mustangs ahead for good.
“It feels great,” Marshall said. “We had some big-time people come up. Joe, a two-run home run to lead off the inning. Getting runners on base, I was able to drive it in. I got the pitch I wanted, was able to read that closer.”
.@baseball_THS sophomore Chase Marshall discusses the Mustangs\u2019 5-3 upset win over No. 3 Katy tonight. Marshall was 3-4 with three RBIs, two coming in Taylor\u2019s four-run seventh inning. #txhsbase @taylor_mustangs @KatyISDAthletic @THS_Mustangspic.twitter.com/S6MpBOsgXG — VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston)
It was the first loss in district play for the Tigers, who fell to 22-5 overall and 8-1 in District 19-6A. Katy is now tied with Tompkins for first place in district, each with one loss apiece in 19-6A. Taylor, which will make the playoffs for the second straight year after snapping a three-year skid last season, improved to 18-10 overall, 7-3 in 19-6A.
“This win, in the grand scheme of the district race, doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight,” said first-year coach Russell Krenek. “However, when you can knock off a top-ranked team, it carries a lot of confidence booster. It shows what we’re capable of doing.”
The Tigers were rolling smoothly until the late innings—up 3-1, thanks to solo homers from senior Dominic Melchor and junior Graham Laxton, and a sacrifice RBI from senior Jhonnatan Ferrebus—when junior ace Lucas Moore started tiring and losing control of his command in the sixth inning. Slowly, the Mustangs gained confidence at the plate, especially when Katy brought in senior closer Brayden Powers in the seventh inning.
After mustering two hits over the first five innings, Taylor had six over the final two.
“We were patient,” Marshall said. “I felt that was the big thing. We just started seeing the ball better.”
Sophomore Peter Dworaczyk led off the seventh with a walk. That forced the removal of Moore after 83 pitches. Powers struck out pinch hitter Yianni Stellakis. Then Jefferson drilled the game-tying homer on a 2-0 count.
HUGE DUB VS KATY \u2066@fsmith27\u2069 \u2066@hbucoachbrem\u2069 \u2066@FiveTool\u2069 @TA450\u2069 \u2066@TwelveBaseball\u2069 \u2066@TwelveRecruits\u2069pic.twitter.com/didhwPsP7R — Joe Jefferson (@Joe Jefferson)
Brett Dolejsi walked and Hunter Ham singled. Jared Schaeffer struck out, and Marshall stepped up to deliver his go-ahead two-run knock to right.
Chase Marshall two-out two-run single puts @baseball_THS 5-3 on Katy. Still top of the seventh inning. #txhsbase @taylor_mustangspic.twitter.com/QlIuHnxNnO — Dennis Silva II (@Dennis Silva II)
“I don’t think the game is ever too big for Chase,” Krenek said. “He enjoys playing baseball. There’s no pressure to him. He’s going to relax and have fun, and that’s probably one of his biggest assets. He just plays ball.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor senior ace Blake Wolf, who was brought in for starter Schaeffer in the sixth inning, mowed down Katy’s 9-1-2 hitters with ease: groundout, strikeout, flyout.
Wolf earned the win in two innings of relief, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out two.
“This is huge for us going into the playoffs and beating a team like Katy, a really good baseball team,” Marshall said. “This is amazing. A big confidence booster for us.”
In his first year at the helm, Krenek, previously the head coach at El Campo, has made baseball fun again for the Mustangs. There is an ‘all-for-one’ thing going on at Taylor.
“We’ve got everybody buying in,” Krenek said. “It’s all a ‘want-to’ instead of a ‘have-to’ mentality. We hustle out to seventh period every day, and we get to practice. We don’t have to. It’s that old cliché stuff, but they’ve bought in, and I could not be more proud of these guys.”
Taylor, which graduated 14 seniors from last season, has nine seniors, but the lineup consists of four juniors and two sophomores. Krenek has changed some things in the program but doesn’t care to discuss what.
It doesn’t matter.
“We’re looking through the windshield,” he said, “not the rearview mirror.”
Whatever is being done, it’s working.
“All the buy-in we have right now, there’s proof in the pudding,” Krenek said. “The sky’s the limit. We’re looking forward to the playoffs.”