HOUSTON (Covering Fort Bend News) – Baseball is supposed to be fun, but the Ridge Point Panthers made sure their opponents didn’t have any in the first two rounds of the UIL state playoffs.
The Panthers have faced two teams of Spartans – Katy Seven Lakes and Spring Branch Stratford – and forced them to perform under one definition of the word “Spartan,” which is to be frugal and function in austere circumstances; the Spartan lifestyle is not one that emphasizes fun.
Neither Seven Lakes nor Stratford led the Panthers at any juncture in four games. Between them, they scored a total of five runs and stole only two bases off Ridge Point’s catcher, Will Pendergrass.
Panthers’ starting pitchers Hayde Key and Kyle Roosa have pitched all but two of the 28 playoff innings. Reliever Dylan Bobo pitched the last two of the series clincher vs. Stratford. The trio of hurlers has allowed 16 hits, an average of 0.57 hits per inning, and struck out 26 batters – just short of averaging one strikeout in every inning.
And, consistent with the un-fun theme, on six occasions during those four games when a Spartan did reach base, it was because he was hit by a pitch. The hard-throwing Key accounted for five of those.
Behind the pitchers, the Panthers have made only two fielding errors, and none in Friday’s two-game sweep over Stratford, which advanced them into a third (Region III-6A quarterfinal) round vs. Cy Fair.
Coach Clinton Welch’s Panthers are scoring 4.5 runs per game in the playoffs and allowing 1.25. Seven of the nine regulars in the Panthers’ lineup have at least one RBI. Leadoff man Jack Baker is 5-for-13 (.385) with two RBI, freshman shortstop Justin Vossos is 6-for-14 (.429), Gabe Colaianni has a .467 on-base percentage (OBP) and Pendergrass has two RBI to go with a .429 OBP.
All very impressive, but when teams reach the third round, there are no easy matchups. Cy Fair sportingly spotted Katy Tompkins a one-game lead in their area series, a 9-0 rout on Friday. Once cornered, the Bobcats got vicious: They eviscerated the Falcons without allowing them another run, winning 3-0 and 5-0 on Saturday to advance.
Ridge Point is the last team standing in the playoffs out of District 20-6A. The co-champions of 20-6A, the Travis Tigers, were eliminated in Game 2 of their series vs. Spring Branch Memorial Saturday. The Mustangs’ 4-2 win completed a sweep.
Listen to the podcast of Friday’s baseball playoff games between Ridge Point and Stratford, as well as the Memorial Mustangs’ series-clinching win over Travis Saturday, by clicking on
https://www.spreaker.com/show/fort-bend-sports-powered-by-vype. VYPE Sports Radio will broadcast Ridge Point’s third-round playoff games vs. Cy Fair.