by Moses Leos III
A complete game shutout from senior Tyler Woodmansee Thursday helped put the Hays Rebels one step closer to the regional semifinals.
Woodmansee’s seven solid innings helped the Rebels defeat the Kerrville Tivy Antlers 2-0 in game one of their regional quartefinal series in Marble Falls. The win marked Hays’ third straight win over the Antlers this season; the two previous wins occured in district play on April 22 and 25.
Hays takes a 1-0 series lead, with game two on Friday at 7:30 in Marble Falls.
“It feels great [to get the shutout],” Woodmansee said. “I wouldn’t have shut them out if I didn’t have a decent defense behind me.”
Pitching became the theme for the two 27-4A district foes, as Woodmansee and Antler pitcher Tres White held the game scoreless through 3.5 innings.
Hays’ offense broke though in the fourh, as David Riojas and senior Justin Diaz rocked back-to-back singles with two outs. Senior Nate Scott followed suit, ripping an RBI single to right field to give Hays a 1-0 lead.
It was enough for Woodmansee, who flummoxed Tivy batters through the contest. Woodmansee allowed four hits and two walks, while striking out eight in his seven innings of work.
He credited his mix of pitches, along with preparation, for keeping Tivy bats at bay.
“We scouted them well,” Woodmansee said. “We knew what they could and couldn’t hit. That helped us a lot.”
The Rebel offense tried to pad their 1-0 lead. However, White’s prowess on the mound proved a challenge; Hays left six baserunners stranded, four of them in scoring position.
But the Rebels’ knack for manufacturing runs proved vital in the fifth. Mike Gonzales reached first base after he was hit by a pitch, and advanced to second via a passed ball by the catcher. A double from Athen Shultz placed runners at second and third.
Two batters later, senior Zac Ibarra brought in Gonzales on a sacrifice fly-ball, giving Hays a 2-0 lead.
With strong pitchers on both sides, Null understood manufacturing runs would be a vital component.
“We knew it was going to be a low scoring game, in which we will have to find a way to put runs across,” Null said. “We got a couple of key base hits at the right time. That’s what we’ll have to continue to do to be successful.”
From there, Woodmansee and the Rebel defense took over, holding Tivy to only one base hit in the seventh to close the game.
Hays now looks to Friday, where a win would advance them to their second straight regional semifinal apperance.
“It’s going to take getting hits in key moments, a great defensive effort and a great job on the hill,” Null said.