Bulldog baseball catching fire with wins
By Brady Keane BCC Contributor
After a slow start to the 2014 district baseball season, back-to-back wins over the Navarro Panthers and Fredericksburg Billies have the Bulldog baseball squad in prime position to fight for a playoff spot in the coming weeks.
"It felt great to bounce back with some wins and beat those two good teams," junior Calvin Bankston said. "We are all starting to come together as a team and play baseball the way it's supposed to be played."
Led by the arm of senior pitcher and University of Ozarks commit Bobby Ketterer, the Bulldogs bounced back from a loss against Boerne with a strong defensive showing against the Navarro Panthers.
"We went out there with greater intent and focus," Ketterer said. "We weren't going to give them any free bases on defense and most importantly we kept battling the whole way through."
In a 2-1 victory over Navarro, Ketterer picked up the win on the mound and struck out six Panthers at the plate. Offensively for the Bulldogs senior Jonathan Stoufflet led the way going 2-2 and scoring a run, while junior Alex Willoughby added a run, Bankston drove in an RBI.
"It was very important that we didn't lay down and take another loss," Stoufflet said. "We went back to work and were hungry for a win."
The win against Navarro set the Bulldogs up for a showdown against one of the traditional district powerhouses in Fredericksburg, and the game turned out to be an instant classic. Senior Caleb started on the mound for the Bulldogs and struck out seven Billies, but the game went into extra innings as neither team was able to pull late in the game.
In the top of the eighth inning, senior Joe Phair broke the tie with a long sacrifice fly to drive in the go ahead run. With a 5-4 lead, senior Bobby Ketterer struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Bulldogs a thrilling victory on the Billies home field.
"The win over Fred was a very important win for us," Bankston said. "It puts us in playoff contention, and it felt great because we are finally building some confidence."
As the Bulldogs continue to build momentum, they will be battling for one of four playoff spots coming out of District 27-3A this season. The baseball team hasn't made playoffs since 2009, but things are looking good after one round of district for this year's squad, a feeling that has this year's seniors in good spirits.
"It's the best feeling ever, and it's even more exciting knowing that we are just going to get better every day," Stoufflet said.
Over the last few weeks that theory has certainly proven true, as the Bulldogs have climbed from the bottom of the district at 0-3 to a prime contender at 2-3. The red hot Bulldogs will host the Wimberley Texans tomorrow night at Bulldog Stadium, looking for revenge from an earlier defeat this season. The first pitch is set to be thrown at 7pm.
"Expect to see the same high intensity energy on the field and more productive at bats," Ketterer said of the rematch with Wimberley.