HEATH — Whitehouse wishes realignment occurred a year earlier.
Rockwall-Heath, headed for Class 5A next year, scored the final three runs to beat Whitehouse, 3-2, in Game 2 and complete a sweep of the Wildcats on Friday in the 4A Region II semifinals series.
Brett Boswell batted in Jovan Hernandez for the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh for Heath’s first lead of the day.
Hernandez singled off Ryan Cheatham to lead off the seventh. Cheatham came back to strike out the next batter, the last the right-hander faced during a solid effort. The sophomore surrendered six hits and two runs while fanning four and walking five in a valiant effort.
Southpaw Correy Davis replaced Cheatham, inducing a grounder to shortstop off lefty Timbo Duncan. What appeared a double play turned costly when the routine throw to second rolled into the outfield, putting runners at the corners for Boswell.
Facing a 2-2 count, Boswell placed the ball deep in the infield at second, allowing the lead runner to touch home.
Whitehouse (28-6) went toe-to-toe with the state’s fourth-ranked team after a 15-5 loss in Game 1 at home.
Pat Mahomes, who led Whitehouse with a 3 for 4 effort, singled and scored in the first.
Jake Parker doubled and scored on an infield error to put Whitehouse ahead 2-0 in the second.
The Wildcats racked up eight hits off TCU signee Jake Thompson, who entered the contest a perfect 9-0 with 117 strikeouts and a sterling 0.34 ERA. Thompson exited after the sixth with the game knotted upon registering eight strikeouts and allowing six hits and one earned run.
Thompson received help after Boswell (2 for 4, RBI, run) singled and scored in the fourth. Heath (32-8) evened the score in the sixth after Jake Bledsoe singled. R.J. Williams entered as a courtesy runner and swiped two bases to reach third. Clayton Rasbeary ripped a fly ball deep enough to center to bring in Williams.
Tyler Ivey yielded two hits to Whitehouse in the top of the seventh before leaving unscathed after a line drive and ground out stranded two baserunners.
Whitehouse reached base in every inning, notching hits in all but one frame.
Heath helped its offensive struggles — five hits through six innings after 16 in Game 1 — by stealing five bases and tightening up to leave nine Whitehouse runners on base.
The experienced Hawks, whose roster features 11 seniors, advance to the regional finals to face either Frisco Wakeland or Waxahachie with a state berth on the line.
The Wildcats wrap up one of their best seasons in school history, and expect to be title contenders next year with graduating costing them only four players.
No. 4 Rockwall-Heath 3, No. 5 Whitehouse 2
Class 4A Region II Semifinals
Whitehouse 110 000 0 — 2 8 1
Heath 000 101 1 — 3 8 4
Ryan Cheatham, Correy Davis (7) and Derek Clemons; Jake Thompson, Tyler Ivey (7) and Jovan Hernandez.
W – Ivey. L – Cheatham.
2B – W: Jake Parker. SF: RH: Timbo Duncan, Clayton Rasbeary.
SB – W: Eric Munoz (2), Patrick Mahomes, Rex Swinney; RH: Logan Kinney (2), Bret Boswell, Dylan Brown, Grayson Lewis. CS – W: Alex Rostis, Davis.
RECORDS — Whitehouse 28-6; Rockwall-Heath 32-8.
NEXT UP — Whitehouse season complete; Rockwall-Heath vs. Frisco Wakeland-Waxahachie winner in regional finals.