’Dogs nip Teague
Eustace scores in bottom of the 9th to capture
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
MILDRED–Eustace junior designated hitter Tyson Oliver’s walk-off
shot down the right field line scored senior Addison Scott from
second base and ended a dramatic 2-1 bidistrict championship
victory over the Teague Lions May 5.
Now 20-10 on the season, Eustace’s nine-inning win advanced them
to the area round of the playoffs, where they will play the
Clifton Cubs at 7 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Midlothian High
The contest probably shouldn’t have gone to extra innings, as
the Bulldogs had several chances to score – they stranded 12
runners on base, had one runner (Oliver) thrown out at the plate
and had another runner (Taylor Caldwell) apparently score on a
sacrifice fly, only to have the run taken off the board after
Teague coaches said Caldwell had not properly tagged up before
want to say how proud I am of our kids, for battling all night
long against a really good baseball team,” Eustace head coach
Chris Powers said afterward. “We missed out on some
opportunities, but the kids kept playing the game hard and kept
giving us more opportunities.”
Monitor Photos/Kerry Yancey
Eustace Bulldog Blake Ward slides safely into second base when
the cutoff throw to Teague Lion shortstop Arturo Martinez was
too high. Minutes later, Ward scored Eustace’s first run to tie
the score at 1-1 in the fourth inning.
Bulldog junior Nathan Taft got the win, but only pitched
two-thirds of an inning.
Senior ace Braden Strickland posted a stellar outing, only to
receive a “no decision,” leaving in the top of the ninth with
one out and the score still tied at 1-1 after throwing 113
“In high school, you really never hear of a kid going 8 1/3
innings, not give up an earned run, strike out 20 and get a ‘no
decision,’” Powers said. “It has really been fun watching
(Strickland) over his career, but especially over the last
With a week’s rest, Strickland is expected to start for the
Bulldogs in Friday’s area contest against Clifton.
Monitor Photos/Kerry Yancey
Eustace Bulldog Tyson Oliver (on
ground) and Teague Lion catcher Timothy Campbell look at the
umpire for the call, which was “out!” One batter later, a
force-out at second ended the fourth inning during Eustace's
dramatic 2-1 bidistrict championship victory over Teague May 5.
Oliver later notched the game-winning run in the bottom of the
Strickland struck out the Lions’ side twice in the game – the
second and fifth innings – and allowed just six baserunners (two
in the ninth) before giving way to Taft.
Teague’s first hit, a shot to deep left center by senior Jake
McClain, rolled all the way to the wall, and McClain hotfooted
around the bases for an inside-the-park home run as an outfield
error (Eustace’s only miscue) negated any chance of throwing him
out at the plate.
That gave the Lions (22-5) a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth,
but the Bulldogs came right back to score their only run in the
bottom of the frame.
Bulldog junior Blake Ward reached first base on a throwing error
(Teague’s only miscue) by Lion pitcher Jared Phillips, and
promptly stole second.
Following a fly out by Chad Barina and a strikeout by Brad
Sawicki, the Lions intentionally walked Strickland to put
runners at first and second with two out.
Bulldog third baseman Alex Pharmakis notched a bloop double down
the third-base line that scored Ward and put Oliver (running for
Strickland) at third.
The Lions again intentionally walked Bulldog shortstop Jacob
Petillo to load the bases with two outs. Scott then tapped a
grounder to short, and Lion shortstop Auturo Martinez threw home
to catcher Timothy Campbell, who tagged Oliver in a close play
at the plate to end the inning.
Neither team threatened in the fifth inning, but in the sixth,
Caldwell walked and Strickland singled, moving Caldwell to
That prompted the Lion coaches to pull Phillips (he went to
first base) and put McClain on the mound.
McClain then got Pharmakis to fly out to deep right, and
Caldwell scored – but Teague coaches argued he had not properly
tagged up, and Caldwell was ruled out.
Again, neither team threatened in the seventh inning, as
Strickland notched two strikeouts before getting the third
batter (third baseman Corey Cowart) to pop up to first, and
McClain notched three straight strikeouts after hitting the
first batter, Scott.
Strickland struck out the Lions in order in the top of the
eighth, and McClain got two quick outs before walking Strickland
on six pitches.
Pharmakis tapped a roller down the third-base line, and was
called safe on a close play at first (the Teague coaches argued
the call), but Petillo tapped a roller to second base and was
out at first to end the inning – even though Petillo strained
his hamstring trying to beat out the throw.
As the ninth inning opened, Strickland gave up a single to
shallow center by leadoff Lion Gama Martinez, and then walked
McClain on seven pitches, prompting a Eustace huddle at the
Strickland struck out the next batter (Arturo Martinez), but hit
the bench at that point, with Taft taking the mound.
Taft promptly issued his only walk (William Madden) to load the
bases, but got Cowart to strike out (after Cowart fouled off
about eight or nine pitches), and then got Michael Campbell to
tap to short, forcing out Madden at second.
As the bottom of the ninth opened, McClain hit Scott with his
first pitch, and Scott promptly took second base on a passed
Oliver then hit down the right-field line to score Scott and set
off a lengthy Bulldog celebration.
Directions to Midlothian High School: From Eustace, one can take
SH 334 through Gun Barrel City and Seven Points to FM 85, turn
left on FM 1182 and then turn right on U.S. 287. Follow U.S. 287
to intersect with I-45 north and continue to follow 287 north
when it splits off from I-45 at exit 247. In Midlothian, take
the FM 663/14th Street exit and turn left (west) on FM 663. The
high school will be on your left. Alternately, take U.S. 175
northwest to intersect with I-20. Follow I-20 west to U.S. 67,
and turn south (left) on U.S. 67 towards Cleburne (exit 464B).
Follow U.S. 67 to Midlothian and take the 9th Street exit
(Business 67). Stay straight as it turns into 8th Street and
turn left on W. Avenue G/Main Street. Take the first right onto
FM 663/9th Street. The school will be on your right. The US 175
route is about 10 miles farther, but it’s freeway almost all the
way. To avoid most of Dallas traffic, follow the FM 85/US 287
Beery, Scroggins, Wood, Handy
win Rotary tourney
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–The team of David Beery, Jack Scroggins, Boyse Wood and
John Haney won the annual Rotary Club golf tournament Friday at
the Kings Creek Country Club.
The foursome finished the four-man scramble at 24 under par.
One stroke back was the team of Chris Sommer, Kyle Carpenter,
Forrest Attaway and Jeff VanHorn, who finished at 23 under par.
Taking the men’s closest to the pin prize was Sommer, while
Julie ann Gilmore took the women’s prize.
Van Horn had the longest men’s drive, while Gail Robinson had
the women’s longest drive.
The tournament drew 26 teams, two fewer than last year.