GARLAND — The only inning Robert E. Lee allowed Garland Sachse to put runs on the board was the first.
That was OK in Game 2 Saturday, with Lee rallying from 2-0 down to win 8-2. But in Game 3, Sachse's five-run first was enough to defeat Lee 5-1 at Mustang Field.
The Game 3 win gave Sachse a 2-1 series win in their best-of-three Class 5A Region II bi-district playoff series. Sachse won Game 1, 14-5, Friday at Mike Carter Field.
Sachse (20-7-1) advances to face Plano West in the area round next week. Lee completed its season at 17-11.
"It's a little frustrating with how we played in the first inning (of Game 3)," Lee coach David Howard said about Lee committing two errors in that five-run frame. "We battled all the way to the end. In the sixth we had a chance and in the seventh we had a chance and J.D. (Cobb) pitched a great game."
The Red Raiders received complete-game efforts from both of its starting pitchers Saturday. Zach Flanagan's resulted in a win with Cobb equally as dominant, but in a loss.
Cobb gave up three earned runs, allowing four hits with five strikeouts.
Garland Sachse centerfielder Eric Williams played a big role in his team's series victory.
On Friday, he scored four runs with a double and triple. In Game 2, he led off the game with a solo homer against Flanagan. In Game 3, he led off with a triple and scored. He also made a great running catch to deny Lee's Blake Hamblett extra bases and an RBI.
Williams got things going with the triple off Cobb. Two errors, two singles and a walk eventually plated five runs.
Lee put runners at second and third in the bottom of the first against Sachse's Kaleb Greaux, but in what would be a precursor of things to come, the Mustangs lefty got out of it unscathed. Greaux stranded Lee runners in scoring position for three of his six innings.
The Red Raiders got on the board in the third when Trace Reed walked, stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Flanagan. Lee had a runner at third with two outs in the sixth and the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh.
"Their guy did a good job throwing soft away; he threw a lot of strikes and kept the ball in play," Howard said. "To their credit, they played great defense. They made really good plays up the middle and a great play (later) at third.
"I was proud of the effort all day and we pitched well in both games. You try to take the positives and grow from them and the negatives and learn from them."
The Mustangs started the game they way they finished in Friday night's 15-run rampage, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first on a solo homer by Williams and double from Kyle Weatherly.
They were the first two earned runs Flanagan had given up in weeks — and they were the only runs the Howard Junior College signee would allow.
The Red Raiders trailed 2-0 when REL tied the game on an RBI triple from Ross Himes and single by Flanagan.
The wind was gusting out to right-center at Mustang Stadium and REL took advantage in the fourth, with Ryan Rendon lifting what looked like a routine fly ball that turned into a two-run double. That capped a four-run inning that included Blake Hamblett singling and scoring and Reed reaching and scoring on a single by Himes.
Flanagan's only potential trouble occurred in the sixth inning when he tried to bare-hand a ball hit back up the middle. He stayed in the game and got out of a first-and-third with one out situation unscathed.
Lee added two more runs in the top of the seventh when Chad Payne led off with a walk and scored on a single by Blake Korthauer. Reed later drove in Korthauer with a single to make it 8-2.
Flanagan gave up a lead-off single in the first, but never blinked to chalk up his eighth win of the season and force a third and deciding game. The senior finished with nine strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
Class 5A Region II Bi-District
Mustang Field, Garland
Garland Sachse 5, Robert E. Lee 1
Sachse wins series, 2-1
Sachse 500 000 0 — 5 4 1
Lee 001 000 0 — 1 2 4
Kaleb Greaux, Eric Williams (7) and Blake Dean; J.D. Cobb and Tyler Jones. W – Greaux. L – Cobb. 2B – SAC: Austin Dean. 3B – SAC: Williams. SB – LEE: Trace Reed.
RECORDS — Garland Sachse 20-7-1; Robert E. Lee 17-11.
NEXT UP — Sachse vs. Plano West in Area round, TBA; Lee season complete.
Robert E. Lee 8 Garland Sachse 2
Lee 002 400 2 — 8 11 0
Sachse 200 000 0 — 2 6 2
Zach Flanagan and Tyler Jones; Kyle Weatherly, Don Malone (7) and Cory Waits. W – Flanagan (8-0). L – Weatherly. 2B – LEE: Ryan Rendon. SAC: Weatherly. 3B – LEE: Ross Himes. HR – SAC: Eric Williams (solo, first inning). SB – LEE: Blake Korthauer (2), Trace Reed.