LINDALE — Lindale’s pitching staff held the Bryan Rudder offense in check throughout the teams’ bi-district series.
After a 3-2 setback in walk-off fashion on Thursday, Lindale’s offense came through in a big way Saturday.
The Eagles won Game 2 by a score of 10-2 and then grabbed a 6-2 victory in Game 3 to advance to the area round of the baseball playoffs.
“We’ve been in a rut where we got knocked out in the first round the past couple of years, so this was huge for these seniors,” Lindale head coach Rich Sanguinetti said. “They’ve been our leaders from day one.
“We competed well on Thursday, but it just didn’t go our way. I told them to keep grinding, and they did that.”
The Eagles gave the ball to sophomore Sebastian Coulter in Game 2. Coulter allowed two unearned runs on five hits with one strikeout and two walks.
Lindale scored one run in the first, two in the second, four in the third and three in the fifth.
Kollin McCartney and Travis Brown had two hits each. Jamey Richey drove in three runs, and Brad Burckel reached base in all five plate appearances.
In the decisive game, Theron Brown — with his brother Travis Brown behind the dish — allowed two runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, Jacob Philpot came in and got Hunter Dobbins to hit a line drive to Richey at third base for the third out.
“I was really confident in my stuff, and I just trusted my coaches and teammates,” Theron Brown said.
“They knew the hitters, and they did their job on the mound,” Richey said. “We were able to get our bats going, which felt good.”
Lindale took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning in Game 3 when Chase Rozell had an RBI single with two outs to score Burckel, who tripled.
Standout defensive plays by Richey and Rozell helped keep the score at 1-0 until the fifth inning.
In the fifth, Richey had an RBI single, and a collision on the infield between two Rudder players led to two more Lindale runs.
An RBI single by Josh Munoz got Rudder on the board in the bottom of the fifth.
The Eagles responded with a run each in the sixth and seventh innings. McCartney had an RBI base hit in the sixth — his third hit of the game. In the seventh, Richey scored from second base on a flyout to center field.
Lindale (23-6-1) will face Magnolia in the area round.