No. 1 Wall Bounces Back to Clinch State Tourney Berth
ABILENE, TX -- After losing game two of their three-game Region 1-3A Final series with Brock 6-4 behind one of their worst performances this season, the no. 1-ranked Wall Hawks needed to respond and respond with authority. They did so by winning via the run rule 20-1 in five innings in game three.
After the 6-4 loss, head coach Jason Schniers said senior Ryan Gully wanted the ball, much like he had said earlier in the week. When presented with the option, Gully jumped on it. It was just the second start this season for the Weatherford College-bound senior, who missed all of 2018 with an injury.
Gully went out and pitched a masterpiece, allowing one run on three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in five innings pitched for the win and zero doubts about Wall returning to state.
"I figured that's what he wanted. He's a competitor," Schniers said. "He's been here before. ... He left everything he had on the mound. He had it in the back of his mind that we were gonna return back to state, one way or another."
The first reason Gully listed for wanting the start was simply beating the Brock Eagles. The second was because he wanted to make sure his senior season didn't end on the hot, humid day in the Big Country.
Despite striking out five of the first eight batters he faced, Gully felt the pressure ease up in the third inning when senior catcher Tanner Seider delivered a three-run triple with the Hawks down 1-0. That hit sparked a 9-run frame and Wall never looked back.
"It's a lot more different pitching from behind," Gully said. "Whenever you're pitching with the lead, it's a lot more fun and you can relax a lot more."
Seider had struggled to hit outside pitches, but things just lined up well for the left-handed batter.
"I knew that's what they were going to start off with. So, when I saw it, I took advantage of it and took it the other way. It just got us going," Seider said.
Coach Schniers said he wouldn't have guessed his team would win 20-1 against their rival. So, those big innings made it sweeter for the veteran coach.
"They're loud and rowdy up there. It was pretty quiet there in the fourth and fifth innings, for good reason too," Schniers said with a big smile. "Our kids played hard and they dug deep. We're excited to go to Round Rock."
Bryson Ballard entered game two after Jake Jansa shoved a kid to the ground and got ejected. In game three, he was one of two Hawks to go 3-for-4 at the plate with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs.
Seider, Charlie Mascorro and Sutton Hurst each led the way with three RBIs for Wall. Gage Weishuhn also drove in a run on a 3-for-4 day at the plate.
Wall (37-1) awaits their state semifinal opponent. The UIL will reseed the remaining four teams based off win percentage. That means Wall will be the top seed.
The semifinals at the Dell Diamond, the home of the Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express, are scheduled for 9 a.m. and noon on Friday, June 7. The final is scheduled for 9 a.m. on June 8.
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