Rockwall-Heath misses Rockwall, Southlake Carroll rules out Keller
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FRISCO — Graduating from high school was supposed to be the highlight of the day for Baylor Baumann on Thursday. A masterpiece and career milestone on the throwing mound created something more memorable for the Rockwall-Heath right-hander.
Baumann threw a no-hitter to lead his team to a 6-0 victory over arch-rival Rockwall in Game 1 of the Class 6A Region II final series at Riders Park. Although Baumann (9-1) wasn’t overpowering with three strikeouts, he was precise, especially with his change and slider that led to routine plays for his defense.
Rockwall hitter Mac Rose threatened the non-hitter twice. Rockwall-Heath first baseman Caleb Hoover made a diving save to win a single in the fourth. Rose also had a drive to the warning lane in the sixth inning, but right fielder Collin Adams was in position to make the catch.
Signed Houston Baptist, Baumann had three walks and hit two batters. He was quick to thank infielders such as Hoover, second baseman Collin Liles, catcher Gage Barkley and third baseman Jonny Lowe for helping to make the no-hitter a reality.
“It’s great. It set the tone for Game 1 and especially against them, it’s great to do,” Baumann said. “I’ve never had a no-hitter at any level. had 21 up, 21 down last summer, but one guy had a hit and then we had a pick-off.
“Getting a no-hitter in a game like this is more important than graduating.”
It’s the second straight season the rivals have met in the Region II Finals with Rockwall-Heath (34-5) – the highest-ranked team in the Dallas Morning News Class 6A Zone Poll – winning in three games in 2021 on his way to winning the 6A state title. 9-ranked Rockwall fell to 27-12-1, 0-3 against Rockwall-Heath this season. Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Riders Field.
Hoover also had a good game at the plate, going 2 for 2 with two walks. Hoover fired up a seventh inning four-run to freeze the game, starting the rally with a bloop, RBI-double down the left field line. Hoover would eventually score on wild pitch and was followed by a sacrificial right fly by Adams and a brace down the left field line by rookie Brady Ladusau.
Mississippi State signee Jett Williams gave Rockwall-Heath the only run he needed on top of first as he walked, went second on a pitch, stole third and scored on a throwing error. Jonny Lowe extended the lead to 2-0 later in the frame on an RBI rebounding single down the middle.
Rose (7-5) allowed two earned runs, two hits and seven walks while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings taking the loss. Rockwall’s pitchers had control issues with five slapped batters, two in the seventh inning that led directly to runs.
Southlake Carroll 2, Keller 0
CLEBURNE — Owen Proksch and Southlake Carroll’s baseball team had waited 362 days for revenge.
They made the wait worth it Thursday night at the Depot in Cleburne.
After losing in three games to district foe 4-6A Keller in last year’s 6A Region I Championship, Carroll (31-8) won the opener of this year’s rematch series 2-0 . Proksch, a Duke signee, threw a complete shutout and struck out 10 batters.
“Obviously good stuff as always,” Carroll’s coach Larry Vucan said of Proksch. “He was able to mix his shots well. We were a little worried at first because his pitch count was getting high, but he did a great job. He got stronger as the game progressed.
Carroll opened the scoring early in the first inning. Proksch laced a triple to left center field on the second pitch of the game, and Ethan Mendoza drove courtesy runner Anthony Liera to the next bat to make it 1-0.
Proksch was also involved in the second inning of Carroll’s match. After Carroll loaded the bases with zero out in the top of the fifth, Proksch drove Nolan Harsy with a sacrificial fly to shallow left center field. Pitcher Keller Keever Vincent (5 innings pitched, 2 earned runs, five hits, four strikeouts) induced a double play to end the inning and limit the damage.
Carroll charged again in the sixth inning, with just one out on the board, but Keller’s Kyle Beaton clawed back a strikeout and a steal to right field to keep Carroll off the board during the inning.
Carroll left eight men on base in total.
“I don’t think the bats were completely awful,” Vucan said. “The way you work on that, basically, is to be a little tougher and more selective about your pitches, and talk to them about it. But at this time of year, there is no drilling. Just blow them up, pat them on the back and love them.
Keller (26-8) swept the regular-season series between the two, 2-0, in March. The second match will be played on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Vucan said he didn’t know who would start on the mound for Carroll in Game 2. One of the candidates is Griffin Herring, a senior signed to LSU and one of the top pitchers in the Dallas area.
“They are a very good team and obviously we will have to play well,” said Vucan. “But we don’t know [who’s pitching]. We’ll talk about that.”
On Twitter: @McFarland_Shawn
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