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.
12 Jun, 2021
State Championship Preview (PHOTO GALLERY): Keller and Rockwall-Heath battle for the UIL Class 6A State Title
12 Jun, 2021
Joshua Waclawczyk (VYPE Media)
It's an all-DFW area UIL Class 6A baseball state championship game as Keller attempts to "win Texas" in their first-ever championship appearance and Rockwall-Heath fights for their first state title since 2012.
Senior pitcher Eric Hammond led the charge on Friday for the Indians as he dominated the game from the mound allowing only four hits and one run to defeat Houston Strake Jesuit 7-1. The USC signee recorded nine strikeouts in six innings. Keller took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning as junior Mike Dattalo drove senior Griffin Barton home with a sacrifice fly. With smart batting from Whit Thoms, Aidan Connors, and Dattalo, the Indians were able to secure the victory in the state semifinals.
With a goal to "win Texas," Keller has posted a 35-7 overall record this season and has only one more opponent standing between them and their goal.
Junior pitcher Baylor Baumann took to the field on Friday as the Hawks were set to play against Comal Smithson Valley- one of the most stacked with D1 signees teams in the state. Allowing only four hits in the state semifinals, Baumann pitched a complete game to lead Heath to an 8-4 victory over Smithson Valley. On top of impeccable pitching, Heath's offense came out shining taking a quick 5-0 lead. An attempt at a rally for Smithson Valley was cut short as Heath took the victory.
Rockwall-Heath will attempt to win a state title for the first time since 2012. With a 37-11-1 overall record, the Hawks will have an opportunity to nab their program's second state title when they take on Keller.
What To Expect
Although the two teams haven't met this season, coming out of the same area, they share many common opponents. While Rockwall-Heath has posted a 5-3 record over common opponents, Keller has posted a 7-2 record. Both have had big wins over the likes of Rockwall and Mansfield en route to their championship appearance.
Both teams have the pitching depth that it takes to play on this stage with a level of high school baseball that is unmatchable, but the win is going to come down to the bats. With incredible defense coming out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it's going to be a battle of the bats to really decide who wins Texas.
The championship game will be held at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas with a first-pitch time of 4 p.m.
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