No. 25 Reagan County Bests No. 5 Wall for the First Time "in a While"
BIG LAKE, TX-- The 25th-ranked Reagan County Owls knocked off the fifth-ranked Wall Hawks 5-4 in Big Lake on Wednesday.
"Our kids are super excited beating a great program like Wall," said longtime Owl Head Coach Edward Soto. "We've been working hard this year trying to figure stuff out to replace kids that we lost last year. This group has been working really hard. We got down early and could've gotten down on ourselves, but we battled back and chipped away, chipped away and took the lead."
Soto, in his 16th year, would go on to say this was the first time "in a while" that Reagan County had beat Wall.
The Hawks outhit the Owls 9-4, but could not get the bats going with runners in scoring position. Wall went 2-for-9 at the plate with runners in scoring position, with the lone RBIs coming from a bases-loaded walk from Gage Weishuhn and a catcher's error while Sutton Hurst was at the plate with the bases loaded in the first and a sacrifice-fly by Dryden Virden in the third inning.
"We didn't adjust to their guy on the mound," Wall Head Coach Jason Schneirs said. "Early on, in that first inning, we might have had one single. [Reagan County] booted the ball around and made some mistakes. We didn't take advantage of that. We let them off the hook."
Starting on the bump for Reagan County was Seth Hernandez. The southpaw went six-and-a-third innings for the Owls, allowing three runs on six hits with a half-dozen strikeouts to get the winning decision.
Pablo Hernandez came on in the final two-thirds of seventh to close out the game. Hernandez allowed one run to score when Tanner Seider came home on a passed ball after his triple to right field. That one run came on two hits. He also struck out the final two batter to finish the game.
"[Pablo] has been doing a good job of closing games," Soto commended. "He executes pitches and keeps it down and does a good job mixing in off-speed stuff, as well. He's pretty good at that. He did his job like he was expected to. He stepped up."
Caleb Heuertz was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on two hits with seven strikeouts in five innings for Wall.
Wall lead 3-0 after three full innings. Reagan County would plate two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to cut Wall's lead to one run. With two gone in the bottom of the fifth, the Owls would capitalize on a couple of errors and walks from the Hawks to plate three runs and take a 5-3 lead after five.
"I told the kids, "If you don't put them away, they're going to find a way to beat you," Schneirs said. "That's exactly what they did. We didn't do a very good job of adjusting as the game went along. You've got to tip your hat to [Reagan County]. They wanted it more than we did today."
Reagan County's Alex Chavez went 1-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored in the win. Chavez was one of four Owls to tally a single hit.
Seider and Virden each tallied three hits in the loss for Wall, with Seider scoring three runs and Virden tallying an RBI.
Reagan County moves to 14-4 and 2-1 in district while Wall drops to 15-5-1 and 2-1 in district.
Wall will travel to face first-place TLCA on Thursday at 4 p.m. while Reagan County has a date with Sonora at 7 p.m. on Thursday.