Next Up - Regional Quarterfinals
Well folks, as we all know, Friday was a great day for ducks. The clouds kept coming and the rain kept falling. For those of you like me, every hour or so I checked the radar on the internet. Surely, the rain was going to bypass New Braunfels. But to no avail, the Friday night Area Championship game was rescheduled. After being all ready to play ball and the game being rescheduled to Saturday afternoon the same day as Prom, how were the players going to come out and play was the question on many minds. Also was a three hour road trip all the way to La Pryor going to have an effect of the Punchers. Many of the fans arrived at the field with jittery nerves waiting in anticipation for the first pitch.
Mason entered the field as the Home Team. Justin Yonker was on the mound, Estevan Villarreal was behind the plate, Ethan Holland at first, Garrett Rice at second, Austin Trip at third, and Chance Stockbridge was playing shortstop. Out in the field, Jeremy Duarte was in left, Roddy Castillo center, and Dillon Estes right. Runge was coming in on a high from winning 2 of 3 in the bi-district round the week before. The top of the first, the Punchers came out seeming to have a little play-off jitters. The Yellowjackets were able to score 2 runs in the top of the first. The Punchers first at bat saw a base hit by Garrett Rice. With heads up base running and some jitters on the Runge defense, Garrett was able to score. The battle continued with the score 2 to 1 till the fifth inning. Villarreal, the lead off batter got a great base hit. Bodie Adams came in as a courtesy runner for Villarreal. Duarte laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to move Adams to second. Castillo hit a long fly ball to right field that was caught, but Adams was able to tag up and make it to third. Stockbridge comes to the plate smacking the ball into center field for a base hit which brought Adams home. Score tied! Sixth inning came and went with neither team being able to score. Top of the seventh, Yonker struck out the side. All Mason had to do was put one across the plate and we win. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be. Four batters later, mason had 3 outs and the game was going into extra innings. Half of the Mason faithful were pacing the fence unable to sit in the stands. Eighth inning, Yonker again strides to the mound. First two batters come to the plate and strike out. 2 down 1 to go. The third batter hits a high fly ball to where Dillon Estes makes a great catch to end the top of the eighth. Again, all Mason has to do is put one run across the plate. Holland comes to the plate. His count is no balls and 2 strikes. He hits the ball into left field for a base hit. Due to an ankle injury, Rice has come out of the game and Winton Trip comes in. Holland is able to steal second. Trip lays down a sacrifice bunt that moves Holland to third. Yonker also lays down a great bunt which the Runge pitcher can’t quite get hold of and Holland crosses the plate. The stands erupt! Mason wins the Area Championship 3 to 2. Yonker had 16 strike outs and only allowed 1 hit. He was backed up by great catches by Jeremy Duarte and Dillon Estes, as well as, some nice defensive plays by Austin Trip and Chance Stockbridge. Also playing for the Punchers, Tyler Chew and Jansen Rychlik.
The Region Quarterfinal game will be against La Pryor. There will be only one game. Bandera will be the location Friday May 21 at 7:30. Again we will be the home team. See you there! Go Punchers!