From Staff Reports
DALLAS – The Hallsville Bobcats are headed back to the UIL State Tournament for the second time in school history and the first time since 2014.
The Bobcats broke open a scoreless game with a big fourth inning, rolling to a 7-1 win over the Frisco Wakeland Wolverines to sweep a best-of-three Class 5A Region II championship series on Friday at Dallas Baptist University’s Horner Ballpark.
Hallsville (32-8), a 3-1 winner in the opening game of the series on Thursday, will play either the 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. semifinal game on Thursday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.
Wakeland ends its season with a 33-12 record.
Landon Bowden worked six innings for the pitching win, moving to 10-1 on the season. He struck out three and allowed one earned run on three hits.
Brayden Walker and Logan Jones had two hits apiece. Sawyer Dunagan drove in three runs, and Walker, Tyler Lee and Trenton Smith all collected RBI for the Bobcats.
After stranding runners in the first and second innings and then going down in order in the third, Hallsville pushed across six runs in the fourth to take a big lead.
Matt Houston led off the Hallsville fourth with a single, and Hagen Caver ran for him. After a pitching change with a 3-1 count on Tyler Lee, Lee drew a walk and then Noah Jumper walked on four pitches to load the bases for the Bobcats.
Trenton Smith reached on an error to plate one run, and Logan Jones followed with a single to bring in Lee. After a strikeout, Sawyer Dunagan cleared the bases with a triple for a 5-0 Hallsville cushion.
Brayden Walker followed with an RBI single to push the lead to 6-0.
Wakeland, which managed just three hits in the opening game on Thursday, had just one hit through five innings on Friday.
In the sixth, Blake Morrow drew a one-out walk, and Keegan Daniels delivered a two-out single to put men on first and second. A Luke Robertson single drove in courtesy runner Cooper Huff to make it 6-1 before Nick Miller popped out on the infield to end the inning.
The Bobcats added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Kurt Wyman doubled with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch – scoring on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Lee to make it a 7-1 contest.
Brayden Hodges relieved Bowden in the seventh, and slammed the door with a scoreless inning of work to send the Bobcats to the big dance.