The Port Arthur News
Home field advantage got thrown out the windown Friday night in Nederland’s series against Barbers Hill.
After winning Game 1 Thursday 8-4 at Barbers Hill, the Bulldogs lost Game 2 5-4 at home to force a decisive Game 3 at noon today at Barbers Hill High School.
There was no panic in the Bulldogs dugout after the game as Nederland was ready to forget Game 2 and focus on eliminating the Eagles today. Barbers Hill (19-9) ended Nederland’s (20-12) 11-game winning streak.
“We have been squeezed before,” Nederland junior Braden Nevala said. “We will come out Saturday with positive attitudes. We didn’t expect an easy game tonight from Barbers Hill. We will get them tomorrow. I trust my team.”
Nederland coach Cody Robbins trusted his Game 2 starter Korey Clark for the entire game. Clark gave up six hits and five runs to go with five strike outs. He threw 120 pitches.
The Bulldogs brought a 4-2 lead into the top of the seventh and were looking for the sweep.
A leadoff walk and an error put two runners on with no outs and brought Barbers Hill leadoff hitter Taylor Cooling to the plate.
Cooling ripped a two-run double to center to make it 4-4 and Cooling later scored the eventual winning run on a RBI groundout by Logan Lyday.
“I told the kids before the game it would not be an easy game,” Robbins said. “We should have scored more runs in those middle innings. They are too well-coached a team and are a hard-nosed baseball team.”
The Bulldogs stranded six runners on base from the second to fifth innings.
Nederland held a 2-0 lead for most of the game after Brian Feltman had a RBI single and Colby Price had a RBI groundout in the first inning.
Barbers Hill tied it in the top of the fifth off a RBI double by Cooling who later scored to make it 2-2 when he scored off an error.
The Bulldogs scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.
Brett Smith led off with a single and with one out came home on a RBI single by Zach Friesz.
Austin Krautz stole home to make it 4-2 when the Eagles caught Friesz trying to steal second. Krautz broke for home immediately when the Eagles threw to second and easily scored.
Nederland got caught stealing again in the bottom of the seventh for the second out before Price singled to build the drama up. Smith flew out for the final out.
“We will be ready for tomorrow,” Robbins said. “Our kids have great character and will be ready to play. Our kids are always motivated no matter the situation. I have 110-percent confidence that we will play well tomorrow.”
Nederland is expected to start Jace Borderlon in Game 3 who is 6-1 on the season. The Eagles threw five pitchers in Game 1 and another four in the do-or-die situation facing Barbers Hill in Game 2.