Bandera baseball sneaks past rival Boerne
By Brady Keane BCC Contributor
The Bandera Bulldog summer baseball team continued their off-season preparation for the 2014-2015 season with a tournament in Boerne this past weekend, facing off against Lytle, Judson, and then Boerne. Beginning with a loss against Lytle, the Bulldogs bounced back with a big time win against the much larger Judson Rockets and then ended the night with an exciting, come from behind victory over the rival Boerne Greyhounds.
"The young men competed and played hard," Manager Mike Bankston said. "We are starting to understand how hard work and playing as a team pays off."
The Boerne game was a big win for the young Bulldog team that was missing several starting players for the tournament, but several players stepped up to make plays throughout the night. The game started off with the Bulldogs bats going strong in the first inning, as sophomore catcher Trey Schwarz drove in the first run of the night, before sophomore Reece Jennings smashed a line drive center to left field to bring in another run and give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead early on.
"Scoring early is important for any team because it fuels the fire for the rest of the game," Schwarz said. "It takes the pressure off of everybody else and just lets you play baseball."
However, the Greyhounds answered with two runs of their own in the first inning, and added two runs in both the second and third innings as well. Despite the constant offensive scoring power of the Greyhounds, the Bulldogs were able to keep pace in a very tight, back and forth game. Sophomore Jacob Kimbrel paved the way, scoring a run in the third inning, while junior Dallas Backer and sophomore Dakota Goode added a run each as well. Going into the fifth inning, the Bulldogs trailed 6-5.
That's when the momentum shifted. With Goode coming in to pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Greyhounds simply had no answer for his arsenal on the mound. Striking out the side in order in the fifth, Goode brought new energy to the team, and went on to strike out a total of seven Greyhounds in just three innings pitched.
Bandera was able to tie the game on a Robbie Woody RBI in the sixth inning, and then Bulldogs took the lead on a Kimbrel RBI that brought in freshman Keaton McKinnis. With the game on the line in the bottom of the seventh, Goode got his seventh strike out of the night to seal the victory.
"It felt amazing," Goode said. "It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The team played with such intensity and heart, and I really wanted to close this one out for them. The main thing I had to keep telling myself was to stay calm and keep throwing strikes."
The Bulldogs combined impressive pitching with powerful offense, as the team was able to come back from a deficit in the middle innings to pick up the win.
"Winning against Boerne was big for us as a team," Bankston said. "We dug a hole for ourselves, and then dug our way out with team work. These young men are getting that 'foxhole mentality' and figuring out that they want to fight to the very end with one another. All the coaches and myself are proud of the hard work and time they have put in so far this summer."
The Bulldogs will be back in action this week, as there were games in Fredericksburg on Monday, and both Bandera teams will have games tonight. Team one will be heading to Llano to take on the Yellow Jackets, while team two will be hosting Ingram at the high school with game time at 6 pm.