Longview tames Stallions to secure spot in postseason
By Hayden Henry email@example.com
April 27, 2013 at 10 p.m.
With their win Saturday, the Longview Lobos are returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
But for head coach Bernie Martinez and his team, the win offers them even something better – a fresh start.
Longview knocked off North Mesquite, 3-0, in a playoff play-in game at Lobo Field to take the No. 4 seed out of District 12-5A into the postseason after finishing 5-7 in district action.
"The postseason is a brand new start. Everyone is 0-0," Martinez said. "I have confidence in my ball club. I think they're a good ball club.
"I don't think we're indicative of a 5-7 district team, so a fresh start is all we need and we're going to go after it."
Will Bradshaw was in control all night off the hill for the Lobos, holding North Mesquite to three hits over six scoreless innings in the win. The sophomore pitched under pressure as well, holding North Mesquite scoreless after the Stallions reached scoring position in five of his six innings of work.
"He did a heck of job. He gave us just what we needed today," Martinez said. "(Hitting his spots) is his MO right now. He definitely has the tools to pitch well and being young, it's hard to be consistent, but he minimized walks and we made plays."
Dez Chumley thwarted North Mesquite's biggest threat in the third inning, gunning down a runner at the plate from right field after the Stallions loaded the bases with one out. The sophomore also did his part at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
"We practice that play a lot," Martinez said. "I have complete confidence that if he got under it, he could make a play and Alex Clark did a great job with the catch and tag at the plate. That wasn't easy.
"And it's good for the kids to see that we work on stuff that will matter down the road."
Spencer Barton led off the Lobo first inning with a single and scored after Chumley reached on a fielding error to give Longview a quick 1-0 lead.
Chumley's triple plated a run in the third and Alec Bradshaw followed suit with an RBI single to give Longview a 3-0 lead after three innings.
Will Bradshaw struck out three and allowed two base runners in his final three innings of work, including coming back on two consecutive batters after falling behind the count 3-0 to induce flyouts.
Alec Bradshaw finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Jared Pauley turned in a 2-for-3 night, while Clark finished 2-for-2 with a double for Longview (16-14).
Longview will take on Garland Naaman Forest in the area playoffs at 7:30 Friday at Lobo Field. Game two and three (if necessary) will be Saturday at Naaman Forest.
(Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h)