By David Kapitan
MINEOLA – Wills Point’s playoff run came to an end last weekend, with a loss to the Pittsburg Pirates in bi-district play on May 3. The Pirates have plagued Wills Point in recent years, winning all three contests played against the Tiger football team in 2012 and 2013.
Wills Point took game one of the best-of-three series on May 1, recording a 6-5 extra inning win.
Pittsburg took the early lead against the Tigers in the contest, scoring three runs in the first on a pair of RBI singles by Garrett Truitt and Jonathan Boyd.
Wills Point would chip away at the Pirate advantage during the next two innings, pulling to within 3-1 on a Hunter Wilcoxson sac fly. In the third, the Tigers scored two more to tie things at 3-3.
Pittsburg scored single runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, taking a 5-3 lead. Wills Point came roaring back in the bottom of the sixth, tying things again on a two run single by junior catcher Case Harper.
The two teams traded zeroes until the bottom of the ninth, when AJ Marble doubled home the winning run for a 6-5, walk-off win.
Marble finished his night with two doubles at the plate. On the mound, the Tiger senior pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing no earned runs, while striking out 14.
Caden Bennett went 2-4, and scored two runs in the win.
Wills Point had a chance to close out the series one day later with another game against the Pirates. Pittsburg wouldn’t be denied in the contest, riding the strong pitching of Brandon Colbert to a 6-0 win.
Neither team could get on the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Pittsburg erupted for six runs off Tiger starter Cody Simmons.
Colbert and Jonathan Boyd helped provide the knockout blows, each contributing 2 RBI hits in the inning.
On the mound, Colbert was dominant from the opening innings, surrendering lone singles to Caden Bennett and AJ Marble, and a walk to Hunter Sanford. Colbert struck out 12 Tigers in his complete game win.
The Pirates closed out the best-of-three series on May 3 with a 5-4 win, holding off a late Tiger rally in the process.
Pittsburg drew first blood in the game, scoring once in both the first and third innings for a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a run of their own to make the score 2-1 in favor of Pittsburg.
The Pirates extended their lead to 5-1 in the top of the sixth by scoring three times.
Wills Point got to Pittsburg reliever Charlie Mitchell in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs of their own to cut the lead to 5-3.
Austin Berndt held the Pirates off the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. Wills Point pulled even closer in their final trip to the plate, scoring a run to inch to within 5-4. Pittsburg’s Brandon Colbert shut the door on Wills Point’s comeback attempt, ending the series to advance the Pirates to the area round.
Berndt went 3 for 4 for the Tigers at the plate, while Jarred Sanford went 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Three Wills Point players, AJ Marble, Cody Simmons and Chase Pemberton played their final games in a Tiger uniform during the series.