BULLARD-Josh Parker launched a grand-slam home run in the fourth inning, but it was not enough to overcome walks and errors in the frames that followed as Troup lost 9-4 to Beckville at Brook Hill’s Herrington Field.
It was Game 1 of their best-of-three Class 3A Region II quarterfinals series. Game 2 was originally slated for Saturday, but was moved up a day because of threat of rain. The team will resume their series at 1 p.m. Friday at Panola College’s Jim Reeves Memorial Baseball Field in Carthage. If a Game 3 is needed, it will begin 30 minutes after the completion of Game 2.
Troup (18-8-2) advance into the this round by battling back last week after losing Game 1 to Hughes Springs, sweeping Games 2 and 3. The Tigers are going to have to do it again to move on.
“The kids have been here before, so this is nothing new to them,” Troup coach Tell Ross said after the Game 1 loss. “They have a lot of toughness, a lot of fight to them and I don’t have any doubts that they’ll show up (Friday) with everything that they’ve got to go out and do what we need to do.”
Beckville (24-6) has yet to lose a game in the playoffs and never trailed in this one. Ethan Harris finished one out shy of a complete game, only being pulled in the seventh because he reached his pitch count limit. He allowed four runs, none of them earned, on six hits with one hit batter and five strikeouts.
Trey Lindsay delivered a two-out double that cleared the bases in the second inning as Beckville went in front 4-0 and never trailed.
Parker’s heroics cut Troup’s deficit to 7-4 with Beckville tacking on another two runs in the fifth. The Bearcats finished with four extra-base hits (two doubles by Ben Bridges and doubles from Lindsay and Zach Collis) but also benefitted from two Tiger errors combined with eight walks in relief of starter Wyatt Wood, who takes the loss despite none of the five runs he allowed in 4 2/3 innings being earned.
“We can’t give good teams free passes and I thought we were real sloppy on the mound,” Ross said. “We gave way too many freebies to them and we didn’t play clean defensively, and that is one thing for the past two weeks we’ve been (priding ourselves on) and I didn’t think we did that tonight.
Beckville took a 4-0 lead in the second, but the inning could have ended scoreless. After a double and two fielder’s choices put two runners on, Brandt Harris hit ground ball to shortstop in which Weslee Ross made a backhand stop and throw that appeared to get Harris at first base. The first-base umpire, however called him safe.
With now the bases loaded, Wyatt struck out Beckville’s next batter, but the third strike got by Troup’s catcher, enabling Bryce Osborn to score from third for a 1-0 lead. Lindsay made tough situation worse for Troup when laced a double down the third-base line that scored everyone.
“Wyatt struck the guy out and we had a ball that got past the catcher, and those are the plays you have to make to get off the field,” Tell Ross said. “I (also) thought we had a call go against us there (before that) at first base. But it’s like I told the kids, anytime they have umpires of their own, you have to expect they are going to get a call here or there.
“But still, we had opportunities to get out of that inning 0-0 and we missed it.
Beckville tacked on three more runs to its lead in the fourth, all of them again unearned.
Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Troup’s Jones Ard reached on a one-out error followed by a single from Justin Nelson and a two-out hit batter by Jaden Lewis. That set the stage for Parker, who launched a 1-0 pitch from Harris for a no doubt grand slam homerun high over the left field wall.
“It was huge. Josh Parker never stops competing and he has a knack for the moment and he wanted to will our kids and our team back in it,” Tell Ross said of the slam.
The Tigers couldn’t add to their run total and now face two must-win games to continue their season.
Class 3A Region II Quarterfinal
Beckville 9, Troup 4
Beckville leads series 1-0
Beckville 040 320 0 - 9 10 2
Troup 000 400 0 - 4 6 2
Ethan Harris, Austin Bryan (7) and Ben Bridges; Wyatt Wood, Brandon Metzig (4), Conner Netherland (4), Jones Ard (5) and Josh Parker. W – Harris. L – Wood. 2B – B: Bridges 2, Zach Collins, Trey Lindsay. HR – T: Parker (grand slam, fourth inning).
RECORDS-Beckville 24-6; Troup 18-8-2
NEXT UP-Game 2: Beckville vs. Troup, 1 p.m., Panola’s Jim Reeves Memorial Field, Carthage