MUMFORD — Players, coaches and fans could only watch and wait while four umpires huddled up during the sixth inning on Friday night.
With Round Rock holding a one-run lead, top-ranked Cypress Ranch smacked a hit up the middle with the bases loaded and two out that gave the Mustangs a two-run lead and, presumably, a berth in the regional semifinals.
It didn’t last. The umpires ruled that the first base umpire had called time before the pitch was thrown, and the runners and batter returned as if nothing had happened.
The same Cy Ranch batter that just moments ago had given his team the lead flew out to right and the Dragons held on to their 2-1 lead to beat the top-ranked Mustangs and send the best-of-three series to a decisive Game 3 Saturday at 11 a.m. in Mumford.
“High school baseball at its finest,” Round Rock head coach John Carter said. “The emotions were through the roof. Just two quality ball clubs with two quality pitchers just battling pitch for pitch.”
Cy Ranch scored in the third inning on a Round Rock error, but the Dragons ended the inning in the next at-bat with a perfect double play.
Round Rock loaded the bases when Cameron Dayton doubled, Reagan Doss singled and Luke Almendarez walked. Senior catcher Colton Regan drove in both of the Dragons’ run with a bases-loaded single up the middle.
“With a pitcher like that, he’s going to get two strikes on you and then try to make you swing at his pitch,” Regan said. “The emotions were up and down all game. We knew we had to come in and be loud and try to get in their heads.”
Cy Ranch starting pitcher J.J. Goss struck out 10 over six innings.
Round Rock starter Sean Swain pitched gave up one run on four hits with six strikeouts over seven innings of work and had very helpful gourd of defenders backing him up throughout the game.
“He was painting corners,” Regan said. “It was a good team win.”
Swain ended the game with an exclamation point strikeout in the final at-bat.
The Dragons will now try to wave the wave of momentum from Friday into Saturday morning and bring the same energy against a Cy Ranch team that hasn’t lost back-to-back games all season.
“The team that controls their emotions the best is going to have the best chance of winning tomorrow,” Carter said. “That was a great game, but we’ve got to come back focused and stay in the present moment.”