For the second time since 2012, Rockwall-Heath baseball players are waking up as State Champions. It was a battle of everything- all the way down to the student sections- as the Hawks played an intense game against Keller and came out on top. Rockwall-Heath Hawks topped Keller 4-3 to win the UIL Class 6A State Championship Game.
In true Heath fashion, the Hawks got on the board first as Kevil Bazzell hit n RBI single in the bottom of the first inning. It wasn't long before the Hawks' lineup put another on the board and led 2-0 after a wild pitch.
Keller's Braden Davis answered back as he his a leadoff single in the top of the second inning then proceeded to steal second, third, and home to score for the Indians. In the top of the third, the Indians took the 3-2 lead as Mike Dattalo drove Griffin Barton home.
It didn't take long for Heath to make their rally known, though. Karson Krowka scored on a sac-fly in Heath's half of the third inning to tie things up 3-3. From there, all scoring stopped as the defenses for both teams took the reigns into their own hands- pulling out all the stops to shut down any scoring.
Heath regains the lead with this Sac fly!
Keller-3#UILState #TXHSBaseball pic.twitter.com/EjYaTQNWvW
— VYPE DFW (@VYPEDFW) June 12, 2021
In the bottom of the sixth, Zach Rike watched as Caden Fiveash sent a sac-fly into the outfield, tagged up, and took the opportunity to score the final run of the game as Heath went up 4-3. Keller was unable to keep their season alive in the seventh inning. After taking over in the sixth inning and sitting down three batters, Fiveash finished the game for a win, trusting his defense to get the job done. "I knew that [Keller] could hit well, but I was going to let the defense work. I did get three strikeouts in the sixth, but that seventh inning I was like: I'm going to let the defense work. As you know, I got some pop-flies and we won," said Fiveash after the game.
After his game-winning sac-fly and two innings pitched for the Heath win, Fiveash was awarded the honor of MVP in a vote by the attending media. Fiveash recorded one hit and one RBI from the plate as well has three strikeouts from the mound while not allowing any runs. "It's surreal. It's breathtaking. It's almost a loss for words right now," Fiveash said in regards to the honor and state championship win. "I wouldn't be able to do it without this team. I'm so proud of these guys. We fought; we had the biggest, strongest grit on the team. We never stopped and I couldn't be more proud of these guys." Fiveash was never worried- even when Keller took the lead. He knew the team had been in that sort of sticky situation before and would be able to come out with a rally.
The beat played on…
Hallsville brought old paint buckets, milk jugs, old drums and empty water coolers from the office, banging and shaking on them for seven innings in the Class 5A state title game against Barbers Hill.
It wasn't enough as Barbers Hill captured its first ever state baseball championship 2-1 in a game that had a little bit of everything from big-name recruits to controversy.
So, let's paint the picture at the beautiful Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas.
Texas Tech signee and Barbers Hill shortstop Cameron Cauley made a spectacular play in the top of the first, then led off with a single and scored in the bottom of the frame as it seemed like the high-scoring Eagles were on their way.
Not so fast. Hallsville lefty (TCU 2023-commit) Landon Bowden calmed down and held Barbers Hill scoreless for the next four innings as the bangin' Bulldogs scored on an error in the third to tied it up at 1-1.
The Hill's Maddox Malone (5-1) went 3 2/3 before being relieved by Raithen Malone.
Barbers Hill Coach Denny talks road to title @BH_Athletics #uiltexas pic.twitter.com/pwA7QwHnjw
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) June 12, 2021
And the drums got a little louder...
Then came the bottom of the sixth. Hallsville's Bowden was pulled after a walk and an error by the first baseman to put two on. Reliever Bayden Hodges entered in a tough situation.
It then got really weird. A sac fly moved the runners to second and third with one out. Another sac fly looked like it gave Barbers Hill the lead 2-1. But, wait a minute.
It was ruled that Barbers Hill's runner on second left early and that made it a double-play to end the innning, nullifying the run. Hallsville took the field and the umpire flipped the ruling in Barbers Hill's favor.
The run would score, but the double-play held.
It was the timing of the appeal. When the Hallsville outfield caught the ball that was out number two. The runner tagged and scored. The umpire did rule that the runner from second left early and he was called out. But the appeal was after the run had crossed the plate.
2-1 Barbers Hill.
Barbers Hill Senior Cameron Cauley talks about title@TexasTech @BH_Athletics @CauleyCam pic.twitter.com/yWWYZcTBMM
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) June 12, 2021
But the drums kept beating for Hallsville.
However, Malone went 1, 2, 3 on the top of the seventh... ball game and state title.
Raithen Malone was named the game's MVP.
What a year it's been for Barbers Hill, who won the state championship in softball last weekend and the baseball team followed suit.
By the way... the drums eventually stopped.