Massie’s hit gives Cards bi-district series victory
By Jason Della Rosa, Democrat Herald
ANNA — This could have been the last start of Aaron Massie’s career, with all eyes on the senior trying to get Pottsboro to the next round of the playoffs.
It could have been the second straight season the Cardinals have lost the final two games of their first-round series to be eliminated – in the same stadium – but the fast right-hander never gave Grand Saline the chance to finish the game. return.
Massie hit one hit with 11 strikeouts and two walks as the Cardinals beat the Indians, 4-0, in the deciding Game 3 of a Class 3A Region II bi-district series.
“I felt confident with Aaron on the mound to pull it off,” PHS head coach Donny McEwan said.
Pottsboro (24-8) will face Boyd (23-4) in a round robin series at Frisco Liberty. Game 1 is at 6 p.m. Thursday; Game 2 is at 6 p.m. on Friday and a third game, if needed, would be at noon on Saturday.
Jett Carroll was 2 for 3 with a triple, drove in a run and scored, Barrett Kent was 2 for 3 and scored and Jake Kubik walked and scored for the Cardinals, who are in the second round for the first time since 2019 .
Bryce Holland scored a single while Landon Mayne and Sam Currey walked for Grand Saline (23-9).
Massie allowed just one base runner after the second inning, retiring the last 10 he faced after Holland’s solid left single with two outs in the fourth.
Grand Saline missed his only chance to score in the second when he charged with one out. Mayne walked to open the inning and everyone was safe on Holland’s defender pick as the Cardinals tried to get Mayne in a preview between third and second, but he managed to beat a tag attempt returning to the bag.
Currey walked but Massie got a strikeout then a forced out at second.
The only other Indian to make it to base was Jace Mercer via an error to open play. Massie got around that with a flyout and a pair of strikeouts.
The Cardinals had two insurance runs in the sixth when Jay Bradley opened the inning with a walk and courtesy runner Tate Dudley scored from first on Carroll’s triple to left. Massie then got a press which was called off and the header moved to the final score.
Pottsboro took a 2-0 advantage late in the first against Jace Melton, who started the first game of the double header but still had 26 shots to his daily limit. Kubik walked, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored when Reid Thompson reached on an error.
Kent’s infield single put the runners in the corners and after Thompson was obliterated trying to score on a pitch at third, Kent scampered home on wild pitch for the two-run margin.
“It was a good response after losing the first game,” McEwan said. “They are totally pumped, they have just equalized the series and we have come back to them.”
Melton didn’t last past the first inning and Brett Kindle took over on the mound. He provided four scoreless innings to keep the game close, but had to overcome a few issues.
Thompson singled to left center and stole the second with two outs in the third but was blocked there.
The Cardinals charged the bases in the fourth with one out before coming away empty. Grayson Watson walked while Carroll and Massie had left-out singles.
Kindle got a popout and a groundout to escape that jam, then in the fifth with runners on first and second with one out, he induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. The tightrope act ultimately failed in the sixth with a cushion Massie wasn’t going to need.
Grand Saline forced the win-win contest with a 7-5 win. The game was tied at four heading into the seventh inning when the Indians scored the deciding run.
A hit-per-pitch and a field single sandwiched around an out put runners in the corners. Mayne and Carson Fisher followed with RBI singles and another run scored on a two-out error.
The Cardinals brought the tying run home in the bottom of the seventh after Kubik tripled and scored on Jaxson Jester’s single at right. But Melton finished the full game with three flyouts.
Kubik was 2 for 3 with a triple and scored twice, Jester was 2 for 4, drove in a run and scored, Watson was 2 for 4 with a double and drove in a run and Kent doubled, walked, drove in two and scored for the Cardinals, who led 3-0 after the first inning before Grand Saline went up 4-3 in the second. Pottsboro tied the game at fifth on Watson’s RBI single.
Currey doubled and drove in two, Fisher singled, drove in a run and scored twice, and Cooper Brown walked three times for the Indians.
“I was not afraid that the momentum would continue. The kids worked hard and were prepared,” McEwan said. “We had our little chat. We knew it would be a tough challenge. Grand Saline is well coached and plays hard.
CLASS 3A REGION II BI-DISTRICT SET 3
Pottsboro 4, Grand Saline 0 (Pottsboro wins series 2-1)