CAMERON — Blood. Sweat. Tears.
Lampasas left it all on the field Saturday afternoon in a 6-2 season-ending loss to Bellville in the Class 4A area playoffs.
“These guys last year, we were a young team and they suffered a lot of close losses,” said Badgers head coach Shane Doege. “They really had resolve for that not to happen again and they fought and they really sold out and they put everything they could into this program.
“That’s what this team is all about.”
After losing the opener of a doubleheader Friday with Bellville, the Badgers battled back to stay alive and force a series-deciding Game 3 on Saturday against the Brahmas at Yoe High School.
The game was a reflection of the entire season up to that point.
“If you look at where we started this year, we started off rough and had some close losses early on,” Doege noted. “And they just had resiliency to keep on battling and not let it deter them.”
That resilience showed as early errors in the top of the first inning allowed Bellville to jump out to a 5-0 lead.
Despite the big deficit, the Badgers kept working hard in the field.
Kevin Black led off the top of the fourth for the Brahmas with a line drive straight to Badgers’ first baseman Jose Uvalle.
Uvalle dived to make the catch and the ball bounced off the tip of his glove. But Uvalle recovered to make the out.
The Badger crowd cheered and Uvalle tipped his hat to them in appreciation.
Next at the plate was Bellville designated hitter Grayson Mays, who worked up a full count before knocking the ball deep into left field.
The ball looked as though it would clear the wall, but Ace Brooks hustled to the warning track with his eyes on making the catch.
Brooks lost his hat as he collided into the wall in left field at full speed.
The Badgers’ outfielder recovered to make the throw and force Mays to stop at third base.
Following the play, officials called time to ensure that Brooks was not injured, as he appeared to have difficulty breathing in the outfield.
The Lampasas left fielder was cleared by trainers and Brooks inspected the dent he left in the outfield wall before play resumed.
“They’re a real close-knit bunch,” Doege said of his team. “And they were just selling out.
“Going into the wall and making diving plays, that’s kind of been our story and that’s why we’re to this point. I think that’s a prime example of what this team is all about.”
Though the defense picked up, the Badger bats continued to struggle against Bellville.
The Brahmas added another run in the sixth inning. The Brahmas tried bringing home a second run when Baker Carson tapped a ground ball straight to shortstop Daniel Lang.
Lang threw the ball to catcher Hunter Rebando to get the out at home.
Lampasas kept Bellville off the board in the seventh inning and the Badgers got two on base in scoring position when designated hitter Marty Ybarra came up to the plate.
Ybarra hit a ground ball toward third and Brahmas shortstop Brandt Okanski’s throw to first was out of reach for Black at first base.
The error allowed Ybarra to advance to second while Jon Davis and Rebando scored.
“I think, even that last inning, the way they battled up to the very end,” Doege said, “that’s what this team is all about.”
The Badgers couldn’t add to the tally and the program’s best season since 2006 came to an end at 19-16.
“It really was a historic season for us,” Doege said. “If you look in the history of Lampasas High School, this hasn’t happened more than a couple times.
“We’re really proud of what these guys have achieved.”
CLASS 4A AREA PLAYOFFS
- Bellville 11, Lampasas 0, 6 innings
- Lampasas 3, Bellville 1
- Bellville 6, Lampasas 2, Bellville wins series 2-1