Maybe it was first-game jitters or maybe Liberty Hill just had good hitters. One thing was clear. This Bear team had come too far to lose back-to-back games. After losing their May 6 bi-district game, 4-3, the Bears came home to regroup and ultimately claim the title of bi-district champions.
Kyle Kincaid started for the Bears on May 7 for the second game of the series. It started with a slow grounder back to the pitcher and a toss over to first for the out. The jitters were gone, and the game was on.
In the bottom of the first, with two outs and two runners on base, Eric Ruiz hit a line drive to center field that scored Tanner Sims.
Devin Drake came up and hit to the outfield, scoring Zach Rogers, while a Liberty Hill overthrow allowed Logan Saenz to come home, putting the score at La Vernia 3, Liberty Hill, 0.
The Bears were put to the test for the next two innings. They bent, but didn’t break. Kincaid worked all corners of the plate, not allowing anyone to score.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Bears mounted another attack, managing to score 2 runs, bringing the score to 5-0.
But Liberty Hill wasn’t dead. A passed ball moved a Panther runner to second base. A hard grounder hit straight up the middle and just under the glove of the second baseman allowed 1 run.
The Panthers mounted one more offensive in the top of the sixth inning, working their way to third base, and eventually home on a line drive up the center, bringing the final score to 5-2, Bears. La Vernia had evened out the games.
The Bears sent Tyler Rodriguez to the mound to start the final game of the three-game series.
The Panthers jumped on him quickly, scoring 1 run, but from then until the fifth inning, he didn’t allow much, until the Panthers scored 2 more in the fifth.
In the meantime, the Bears scored 1 run in the third, plus a homer by Jacob Prater in the fourth, and then answered Liberty Hill’s runs with 2 of their own in the bottom of the fifth, bringing the final score to La Vernia 4, Liberty Hill 3.
The bi-district champs are moving on to their Area series with El Campo May 12-14 in Victoria.