PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

May 3, 2014

Barbers Hill eliminates Nederland

MONT BELVIEU —      It will be a hard pill to swallow for quite some time for Nederland coach Cody Robbins, knowing his Bulldogs lost in the first round this year.

     Barbers Hill made for a worthy opponent but in Robbins’ mind his Bulldogs outhit and outpitched the Eagles throughout the series.

    In the end Barbers Hill eliminated Nederland in three games after Saturday’s eight inning 2-1 win in Game 3 at Barbers Hill High School. Nederland won Game 1, 8-4, and lost Game 2, 5-4.

     The Bulldogs (20-13) collected 22 hits in the series compared to 17 for the Eagles (29-9). Nederland only used three pitchers in the entire series compared to 11 for Barbers Hill. Jace Borderlon did his job in Game 3 and then some. He pitched all eight innings and was effecient enough to only throw 82 pitches. He gave up six hits and three walks with five strike outs.

     “Jace was unbelievable today,” Robbins said. “Jace threw mostly in the tournaments as we went with Chase (Kemp) and Korey (Clark) in district for the most part. Jace didn’t get a lot of work over the last two months and to come out like he did today was huge. I couldn’t ask for more. He pitched his butt off.”

     Borderlon’s 82nd pitch was a costly one and so was the wind whipping around Eagles Field.

 Trevor Kitchen stood on second for Barbers Hill with two outs in the bottom of the eighth in a 1-1 tie game and Logan Lyday was at the plate.

     Borderlon’s 2-2 pitch was lifted to right field and off the bat seemed to be a routine fly. Wind carried the ball much farther than expected and it caused Nederland right fielder Brett Smith to misjudge where it was going to come down.

     Smith had his eye on the ball but it started to sail closer to the wall and eventually dropped to the ground and it allowed Kitchen to score the series-ending run.

     “That was a tough way to lose,” Robbins said. “There was not much Brett could do. That type of play happens everywhere in baseball. It happens in college and in the pros. When the ball came off the bat, it looked routine.”

     Barbers Hill reversed two trends from the first two games. The Eagles on Saturday were the first home team to win and the first to score first and eventually get the victory.

     “Both teams battled so hard and unfortunately we came up one run short,” Robbins said. “We had opportunities today to score runs and we didn’t take advantage of them. We were fortunate to score on the passed ball to tie the game.”

     Colton Broussard tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth when a pitch got past Barbers Hill catcher Jacob Breaux with two outs.

     Breaux got the Eagles on the board in the bottom of the third after he led the home half of the inning off with a double to center.  Breaux moved to second on an infield siingle and came home when Chase Stockwell reached first on a fielder’s choice.

     The third and eighth innings were the only two times when Borderlon allowed more than one Eagles baserunner at one time.

     Borderlon had thrown only 40 pitches after five innings and carried 65 pitches after seven.

     Barbers Hill’s Mason Furlong, who also had not pitched much this season, got the start and also performed above expectations.

     He lasted 5.2 innings with 77 pitches and three hits allowed. He gave up one run and three walks to go with three strikeouts.

     Nederland had runners in scoring position in both the fourth and fifth innings yet failed to produce a run.

     The Bulldogs loss ended the careers of both Clark and catcher Brian Feltman.

     Clark was the Game 2 starter and pitched a good one as he allowed six hits with five strike outs in seven innings. Feltman had four hits and three runs in the series.

     “Clark and Feltman had a great four-year run here at Nederland,” Robbins said. “Both guys really produced for our program and we will miss those guys. We return a lot of guys next year. It will be a completely different team. Teams are always different from year-to-year. You always get one shot with a team and it stinks the run with this one is over so quickly.”

     Barbers Hill moves on to face Montgomery in next week’s 4A area playoff round.

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