Weishuhn's Late Heroics Send Hawks to State Championship
ROUND ROCK, TX -- The no. 1-ranked Wall Hawks got all they could handle from state tournament newcomer Kirbyville in an extra-inning thriller at Dell Diamond on Friday with a 5-4 win in nine innings.
“It’s what they’ve done all year, never give up,” head coach Jason Schniers said.
Gage Weishuhn would deliver the decisive blow on a 2-out single after Caleb Heuertz had doubled right before him.
Weishuhn had struggled at the plate early on. He struck out in his first two plate appearances before walking in his next two. The senior right fielder knew his fifth plate appearance was time to get the job done.
“It was my time to go up there, hit the ball and do a job,” Weishuhn said. “I mean, earlier in the game, I struck out twice then walked twice. I thought then that it was my job to go up there and do something and I did that.”
Wall opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs on RBIs from Colton Diebitsch and Kye Herbert and proceeded to hold Kirbyville scoreless through three innings. But the Wildcats would match Wall with a pair of runs in the fourth and a run in the fifth to tie the game at 3-3.
Kirbyville looked to get in the driver’s seat when Hunter Wallis drove in Justin Herriage and put them up 4-3 in the top of the sixth. Wall was held scoreless in the bottom of the sixth.
However, with two-outs and the bases loaded, Jake Jansa drew a walk to bring in Ryan Gully to tie the game and eventually force extra innings.
Caleb Heuertz got the start for the Hawks on the mound and pitched well, going five innings and allowing four runs, all earned, on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts, but didn’t get the decision.
Gully pitched four masterful innings of scoreless relief where he struck out 10 and allowed three hits and one walk, Being back at the Dell Diamond brought back good memories for Gully, who struck out 15 when he started the state semifinal in 2017.
“I think it’s just the atmosphere, having your whole community at your back and all their support. You’re on cloud nine when you’re here,” Gully said.
Coming on in the sixth inning, Heuertz told Gully what to look for. Kirbyville was decisive at the plate and didn’t really miss on anything hanging over the plate.
The Hawks also knew it would be tough against Kirbyville’s ace LHP James Burchett. The southpaw made things difficult at the plate for Wall through his six innings of work.
“He did a great job keeping himself composed, but also keeping his pitch count in tact,” Schniers said. “We finally got him out of the game and the rest took care of itself.”
Friday was Wall’s first extra inning game of the season. After last week’s series against Brock that ended their perfect season, they were prepared for anything.
“We needed that,” Schniers emphasized. “You go through the season undefeated and you don’t experience some of that adversity.I thought our kids handled last week extremely well. We jumped out early today then go down to our last at-bat and they found a way to get it done.”
Wall (38-1) will face Blanco at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. The Panthers walked off as 3-2 winners over Van Alstyne on Friday.
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