Bulldogs advance past Bobcats in wild Game Three battle

Published 9:00 pm Saturday, May 18, 2019

Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent


ORANGEFIELD – The Orangefield Bobcats fell to the Pollok Central Bulldogs 11-9 in a thrilling game three of the Class 3A Region III quarterfinal regional round of the playoffs Saturday in a wild one.

The Bobcats (20-12) forced the Game Three against the Bulldogs (21-14) after a 2-0 Game Two win and a superb pitching performance from Landen Tomlinson.

Game Three featured a slew of big-time hitting inn what was a back and forth game with multiple lead changes and clutch hits from both the Bobcats and Bulldogs.

Both teams came to score runs in game three of this series. Neither winner went over five runs in the previous two games, but in this game they both had at least eight runs in this pivotal rubber game to decide the series. Both teams and the fans were well aware how important this game is and what it would mean for either team to continue their season. With a packed house and noise makers to boot, the Bulldogs and Bobcats put on one heck of a show Saturday.

The Bulldogs repeated the series pattern and score in the first inning. Logun Hobbs hit a long triple to right center bringing up Jacob Davis. Davis hits a shot over the shortstop to bring in Hobbs with ease. It’ll only be the one run, but the Bulldogs led 1-0 to start the series finale.

Central’s bottom of the lineup came up with some offensive sparks in the second inning. Carson Davis singled and stole second to set up Aiden Dickson to bring him in. On Dickson’s single, Davis was able to race home. That’s all they would find, but the Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead heading to the bottom of the second inning.

The Bobcats responded by stealing home for their first runs. Gunner Jones led off with a walk, after a grounder Jones advanced to third. After two back to back wild pitches Jones was able to steal third and home to drop the deficit to just one.

The Bulldogs blew open the game with a big fourth inning, so they thought. Carson Davis reached first thanks to a Bobcat error, Dickson singled and advance to second and third on the play. Dylan Cloonan would single in an RBI, scoring Davis from third. Hobbs would follow with a massive triple to bring in Dickson from second base.

The rally continued after Jacob Davis smacked a double bringing up Cade Graves. Graves drove in Davis with a single for the inning’s fourth run. The Bulldogs get their 10th hit this inning and took a 6-1 lead over the Bobcats heading to the bottom of the fourth.

The Bobcats showed life in the bottom of the fourth with a big hit from Johnny Armstrong. After a couple of errors to let Logan Gipson and Tyler Washington load the bases, and Tomlinson reaching on a fielder’s choice, Armstrong hit a deep shot to center field, over the center fielder’s head, to score and clear the bases for a three RBI triple.

Orangefield tied it up as the Bobcats got the bases loaded again for a payoff. After a couple of walks and a single from Kadeon Evans, Mason Gonzales and Kent Micheal, set up bases loaded for Gunner Jones. Jones ripped one just over the shortstop to bring in both Micheal and Evans from second and third base. That’s all the Bobcats would get, but importantly they tied up game three 6-6 heading into the fifth inning.

The Bulldogs retook the lead in the top of the fifth. Carson Davis walked and stole second base to bring up Dickson with a chance at a run. Dickson hit a hard grounder in between third and short and Davis would beat the throw home. Jacob Davis hit another single to bring in Dickson from third and kept the bases loaded. They would be left loaded, but the Bulldogs took a 8-6 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth.

The Bobcats would not quit and kept the game close in the bottom of the sixth. Armstrong would lead off with a big triple, his second, to deep right center field. Micheal followed up with a hard liner up the middle and scored Armstrong easily from third, bringing the score within just one run.

With a runner on second, Jones came up with another clutch hit to tie the game. Evans would walk and get pushed to second after a grounder. Jones hit a hard liner to left field to bring in Evans from second and tie the game once again for the Bobcats. Heading into the final inning the score was knotted at 8-8.

The clutch hitting continued, this time for the Bulldogs. Dickson and Cloonan would walk and get a single, in that order, to bring up Jacob Davis needing at least a run to have a chance. Davis launched it just in front of the center field fence and past the center fielder to drive in both Cloonan and Dickson with the triple. Graves would follow up with a single to bring in Davis and extend their lead to 11-8.

The Bobcats still had hope as they wouldn’t go down without a fight. Blake Bradley found a bloop single to start. After a grounder he advanced to third after a miscue by the Bulldogs. Tomlinson hit it between third and short for a single and an RBI scoring Bradley.

The Bobcats fell just short in the regional quarterfinals against a formidable Pollok Central Bulldog team.

The Bulldogs now move on to face Troy in the regional semifinals.

The Bobcats edged past the Bulldogs in Game Two with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and then rode the superb outing by Tomlinson, who had a complete game win.

Tomlinson was on the bump for the Bobcats and was able to keep the Bulldogs at bay. In the Bulldogs’ game one victory they were able to keep the Bobcats off the bases and got ahead early. The Bobcats did just that in Game Two in big thanks to Tomlinson’s performance on the mound. Getting better as the game went, Tomlinson was able to limit the Bulldog’s hits to just that, not letting a runner reach third base.

Tomlinson pitched a full game shutout, allowing just four hits, striking out five and had three walks on the outing. Tomlinson looked as good as he has all season long in one of the most important games all year. The perfect time to pitch his best.

The Bobcats’ early lead, much like game one of this series, was enough to get the win in game two. Both pitchers were dealing great games, but Tomlinson just gave up less than Bulldog starter Logun Hobbs.

The Bobcats took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. After a walk put Kent Micheal on first, Kadeon Evans sent one deep to right center to score the first run. Micheal was moving on the hit and got into scoring position. Gunner Jones briought home Evans with a double down the right field line and setting up another potential RBI. That’s all they would get across this inning, but the Bobcats took an early 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs and did not need anymore.