HALLSVILLE – Longview baseball faced Saturday’s afternoon Class 5A Region II quarterfinal playoff series deciding game three after Hallsville earned an early day 4-0 game two home victory, but it charged back and closed out the third-round playoff matchup with a hard-fought 3-2 seven-inning walk-off win at the Bobcats’ ballpark.

The Lobos were 1-7 against the Bobcats on the baseball diamond between March 8, 2019 and April 14 of this season, but their final at-bat series victories on Thursday and Saturday were enough to improve their season record to 21-16, and advance to play

Frisco Reedy in the next round. The series opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Longview’s Lobo Field, with game two set for 2 p.m. on Saturday at Frisco Reedy. A third gam would follow if needed.

The Bobcats, meanwhile, finished their 2023 campaign with a 27-8-1 mark.

“I’m fired up for this team,” Longview head baseball coach Jim Goldman said after his program’s latest advancement on Saturday. “This team’s a great, hard-nosed, never-quit team, and I got great assistant coaches.”

Hallsville made important defensive plays in the early innings of game three to keep Longview in check, and rode the momentum to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Ethan Miller scored the go-ahead run during Landon Bowden’s RBI double.

Longview had already bounced back from an area round game two loss and an early 7-2 area round game three deficit against Corsicana, so it knew how to handle another elimination game situation on Saturday.

That’s why the Lobos immediately answered with Ronald Woods’ two-out triple and game-tying run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third.

Hallsville tested Longview again when Connor White scored on Ashton Garza’s RBI double in the fourth, but the Lobos responded again with Jose Arellano’s score off Jordan Allen’s two-out RBI triple to make it a 2-2 score in the fifth frame.

Longview eventually broke through for its first lead of the day in the bottom of the seventh to punch its ticket to the fourth round of the playoffs. Arellano started the frame with a single, and was replaced on the bases by pinch runner Jacolbie Granville. Then, Drew Flores finished off the game with a hit that scored Granville’s winning run.

Lobo pitcher Campbell Williams struck out three batters in his 5.2 inning start, and Kieffer Doxey led the lineup with a trio of hits.

Hallsville knew it had a big task ahead in game two, and immediately went to work in the bottom of the first. Sawyer Dunagan led off the early charge with a leadoff single to left field, and quickly stole second base. He then made the most of back-to-back sac flies from Ethan Miller and Blake Cox to advance to third base and give his team an early 1-0 advantage.

Hallsville then grew its lead to 3-0 in the third. Miller provided a leadoff double, and moved to third base during Cox’s sacrifice groundout. Landon Bowden then recorded a RBI single that scored Miller, and eventually scored the third run during Connor White’s RBI single.

The Bobcats then topped off their series-extending game two victory when they loaded the bases in the fifth, and Jack Holladay’s hit by pitch RBI scored Trenton Johnson.

Follow Thomas Bingham on Twitter: @Texan8thGen