Another three-game series for Bishop in the Class 3A baseball playoffs ended in another sweep as the Badgers topped the Yoakum Bulldogs in their regional semi-final matchup, 2-0.
“First of all, I just want to say, hats off to Yoakum,” Badger Coach Mike Medina said. “That’s a really talented ball club. They just keep coming at you, they’re relentless, they’re a good team, well prepared, and they play hard. So I just want to say congratulations to them on a great season.”
The Badgers were able to take game one of the series, 7-4, despite almost giving up the lead late in the contest.
With the bases loaded, Yoakum’s Staton Pakebusch hit a deep ball to left-center field to clear the bases and the Bulldogs tied the game up at 4-4 in the top of the fifth inning.
The following half inning, Criztian Delgado hit a single, J.B. Melde drew a walk and Tanner Smith was hit-by-pitch and the Badgers forced the Bulldogs to change pitchers.
After the Bulldogs successfully got the next two Badger batters to hit into pop-outs, Cade Dupont forced a walk that allowed Delgado to cross the plate and give Bishop the lead.
The Badgers scored off a Yoakum error on second base in the same inning and would earn another run later in the contest, and held on to take game one.
Nic Hernandez was on the mound for the Badgers and pitched five innings, striking out six batters and also walking six.
Hernandez had four earned runs, but gave up only two hits in the contest.
Kobe Jaramillo pitched in relief for Hernandez to close the contest and whiffed four batters, while walking one.
Delgado led the way for the Badgers while hitting, going 3-for-3 with an RBI.
Smith led the team in RBIs in game one, with three on a 2-for-2 hitting day.
In game two, the Badgers and the Bulldogs struggled to get any offense going until the third inning of play, after Jaramillo was able to score from second base when Melde hit a blooper into center field.
In the next half inning, the Bulldogs answered with a score of their own, thanks to a Blake Gordon line-drive that was hit into right field to get a runner across the plate.
Jaramillo aided his own pitching effort by driving in a run, and Hernandez chipped in an RBI to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Badgers wouldn’t give up another run for the remainder of the contest, and held on for the victory and the series win.
Jaramillo pitched game two and went four innings with three strikeouts, three walks and gave up two hits.
After game two, Jaramillo said the Badgers’ priority through the series was to “stick to our blueprint.”
“We had to stay together, you know,” Jaramillo said. “Like coach always says, united we stand, divided we fall and we had each other’s back through it all. And (we kept) sticking with our blueprint. The coaches give us a good blueprint to stick with and it’s been working out.”
Despite the outcome of the games, Medina said there were some shortcomings in his team’s play, especially while inside the batter’s box.
“The last couple of games, we just couldn’t get that hit, you know, we couldn’t get that hit to kind of put some distance between us and Yoakum,” Medina said. “And so we had to rely on our pitching and defense. Which, for the first two years, was our bread and butter. And now we’ve been hitting the ball a little bit better. But in the playoffs, you might have a couple of games where you don’t get that key hit. And that was the case yesterday and today.
“We’ve got to just master the fundamentals, give ourselves a chance to put a good swing on a good pitch. And I felt like we chased a lot of pitches that were out of the strike zone, which has been uncharacteristic for us, but you know, they’re teenagers, and it’s the fourth round of the playoffs. So things like that happen,” Medina added.
Jaramillo said the team would learn from their lack of offensive timing.
“We have got to keep swinging,” Jaramillo said. “They’re going to fall eventually. Sometimes they don’t go our way, but like coach said, we were missing that one hit to open up the game in both games, and we’re going to stick with it while we’re in practice.”
Next up for the Badgers is a best-of-three series against No. 10 ranked Blanco in the Class 3A Regional Finals.
“I’m proud of my boys, they played like men today,” Medina said. “They were all about business. And they trusted what we coach and what we train them to do. I think mentally they were just locked in and engaged in and it doesn’t mean that they’re going to succeed all the time. It just means that we have a chance to do the right thing in a baseball game. And baseball’s unpredictable.
“There’s some things that I saw that I didn’t like and there’s always room for improvement even when you win a game. Baseball will expose you in certain aspects of your game and we’re going to work hard and get those sharpened up for our next round opponent.”
The series against Blanco begins today at 7 p.m., with game two to take place on Saturday at 2 p.m.
If necessary, game three will take place right after game two. All games will be played in Jourdanton.