ABILENE, TX -- Head coach Jason Schniers said his top-ranked Wall Hawks never had a doubt they'd leave Abilene Christian University's Crutcher Scott Field with a win in game two of their best-of-three series with no. 9 Breckenridge on Saturday.
An RBI triple from Ryan Gully in the bottom of the fifth inning walked it off for the no. 1-ranked Wall Hawks, who beat the Breckenridge Buckaroos 11-1 on Saturday to complete the regional semifinal sweep on Friday.
The senior short stop got a good look at the pitches from Breckenridge's D'Andrey Silva from Kye Herbert's previous at-bat. He said he noticed a recurring trend in his opponent's pitch selection.
"It was the first pitch, I believe, and I watched Kye Herbert and studied his pitches," Gully said. "I saw that he had thrown a lot of first pitch fastballs. So, I was looking for a first pitch fastball and, sure enough, he threw me one right down the middle."
The ball to right-center field looked poised to hang up just enough to take extra bases and the run rule victory away from the Hawks at the time. As soon as head coach Jason Schniers saw the angle taken by the right fielder, he knew the run rule was coming. The triple capped off a five-run fifth inning for Wall.
"He put a good swing on it. I didn't know how far it would get," Schniers said. "I didn't know if it would get through the right fielder and center fielder. When it did, I was like, 'We're gonna score from first!'"
After a shaky outing in a 19-11 win over Alpine last week, Wall pitcher Luke Young settled into a rhythm and helped guide the no. 1-ranked Wall Hawks past Breckenridge.
Young picked up the complete game win after allowing one run on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts to his name. Schniers praised Young's ability to work with his off-speed pitches, which were not effective last week. What was the difference this week?
"He wanted it," Schniers said. "He didn't like that feeling last week when he got pulled of the game in the second or third inning. He didn't feel like he did his part last week. He was anxious, he was ready to give us an opportunity this week and he cashed it in."
The righty navigated trouble in the top of the fifth inning after allowing a run to come across. With the bases loaded and two outs, Young struck out Breckenridge’s Tristan Garcia to end the inning and keep Wall ahead 6-1.
The Hawks opened the scoring in the top of the first on an RBI single by Gage Weishuhn. They would tack on three more in the second and never look back.
Colton Diebitsch led the way for the Hawks from the nine hole, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Herbert and Weishuhn tallied the only other multi-hit games for the Hawks. Gully had a pair of RBIs.
The win means Wall will meet Brock in the regional final, one round later than the two teams met last year. It's an opportunity Gully relishes after missing last year.
"It feels amazing," Gully said. "Anytime, not just in baseball, but anytime a Wall team gets to play Brock, it's the World Series in this side of Texas. It's an awesome feeling knowing I'll be able to do my part in it."
Wall (35-0) will face Brock for the right to go to the state tournament next week. The state powerhouses will play a three-game series at ACU with the first game scheduled for Thursday, May 30, 6:00 p.m. Game two is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Friday.