BASEBALL: ‘Season’s not done’: Bulldogs forced to take two from Eagles

Published 7:26 pm Friday, May 18, 2018

NEDERLAND — The mood was light.

Two days after dropping Game 1 to Barbers Hill, the Nederland Bulldogs didn’t find themselves on edge during practice Thursday and Friday, although they trailed Barbers Hill in the best-of-three series.

“They realize our season’s not done,” Bulldogs coach Bryan Spell said. “We know we’ve got a great challenge in front of us to beat Barbers Hill twice. In baseball, anything can happen, and we’re just grateful we have that opportunity.”

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The Bulldogs have been in this situation before.

“We’ve just got to stay positive,” senior third baseman and pitcher Alan Underwood said. “Whenever we get down, we lose ballgames. We still have all the confidence because we have the hitting, the pitching, we have everything going for us to come back and win two games on Saturday.”

Nederland came off a 1-0 loss to Dayton in its first playoff game this season and outscored the Broncos 15-2 in a doubleheader two weeks ago. The Bulldogs (25-7-1) beat Galena Park in two games to get a shot against Barbers Hill (25-10), but Wednesday’s loss has forced them to sweep a doubleheader Saturday evening at the University of Houston’s Schroeder Park.

The series winner will take on Tomball or Tomball Memorial, but Spell has emphasized to the Bulldogs the importance of “not getting ahead of themselves” during a rare two-day break in a playoff series.

“We were ready to play [Wednesday], but it’s Saturday at 5 o’clock,” he said. “You can’t rush life. You can’t wish it away. … We’re just trying to stay sharp and take it one inning at a time, one pitch at a time. You can’t win it in one inning. You have to play it and see what happens.”

The Bulldogs were saddled with two errors in Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat, both of which led to runs.

“You’ve got to make the plays and not give them anything,” Underwood said.

Nederland also had momentum on its side after taking a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth on a two-run double by Angel Castillo, who has gone 3 for 5 in the past two games.

“I was out of [rhythm] for a little bit,” the senior said. “I just kind of found my rhythm, and I finally found it, and I was able to get back into it.”

Junior Conner Kemp will start Game 2 on the mound with the nod for Game 3, if necessary, still to be decided.

“We’ll see how it unfolds from there. We’re in a different situation from them. We’re going to have to pull out all the stops and use all our guys. It’s a must-win.”

Fan parking is available on the northeast corner of Elgin Street and Cullen Boulevard in Houston.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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