There may be no hotter team in the UIL Class 3A playoffs – at least in East Texas – than coach Michael Mayfield’s Sabine High School Cardinals.
Just ask the Hooks Hornets.
Hooks couldn’t cool Sabine off on Thursday, and they couldn’t on Friday, either, as the Cardinals just heated up even more with a 7-5 win in game two on Friday in Marshall, finishing the UIL Class 3A area (or second) round series, and sending Hooks packing.
The Cardinals advance to round three, now, for the first time in program history, and will face Harmony next week. Harmony swept Tatum in their series, getting a 7-0 win in game two on Friday.
Sabine and Harmony will play their best-of-three series in Hallsville starting Thursday night at 7 p.m. Game two will be Friday at 5, and if they need a game three to decide it, it’ll be 30 minutes after game 2.
Sabine pounded Hooks in game one on Thursday night, a much-worse-than-it-sounded 6-2 win at Maverick Field in Marshall, and the Cardinals finished the series on Friday with a 7-5 win, ironically the same score as Kilgore-Kaufman’s game three.
Sabine finished with 10 hits. Catcher Alex Galyean and Colton Sparks each went 2-for-4, Galyean with a home run, and each had an RBI. Caden Richardson went 2-for-3. Jace Burns went 2-for-5 with a triple. Carter Patterson didn’t have a hit but did notch 2 RBI. Matt Huey went 1-for-3, a double, and Kile Stripland went 1-for-3.
Burns got the complete-game win, allowing five runs, four of them earned, on eight hits, walked just one, and struck out four. He threw 100 pitches, and 64 of them were strikes. He faced 31 batters.
Game one of the series was a quick one: just one hour and 15 minutes, a 6-2 final.
Hits were a premium, but not necessarily for some of us: Sabine third baseman Payton McBride went 2-for-3, one of them a home run, and finished with 2 RBI. Matt Huey and Colton Sparks each went 1-for-2, with Sparks – the left fielder – getting a double.
And the Cardinals’ other two hits in the game were by shortstop Jace Burns and center fielder Carter Patterson.
Huey allowed Hooks even less than that: Hooks only had three hits the entire game. The senior Cardinal led by example, going the distance, all seven innings on the mound. He did give up the two runs, but struck out five and walked only three. Of the 82 pitches he threw to the plate, facing 25 batters, he threw 54 strikes.
His counterpart, Hooks pitcher Ty Thomerson, didn’t pitch poorly, either, save for the two big hits he allowed to McBride and Sparks. Thomerson went six innings. He did give up the six hits, struck out eight, but allowed no walks.