After rampaging through the 2014 4A UIL Playoffs and making it to the Sweet 16, the Frisco Liberty RedHawks season has ended.
However, just as they had done all postseason, the RedHawks battled with clutch pitching and timely hitting to force the maximum amount of games; this time in the Regional Semifinals against the Hallsville Bobcats.
Game one pitted the Bobcats’ Connor Reich, a TCU signee—fresh off an 18 strikeout performance—against the RedHawks’ Robby Evans.
Reich was his dominant self as he struck out six over his seven innings of work, allowing just one hit, via an Austin Miller single up the middle on the very first pitch of the ball game. The Bobcats took game one and led the series 1-0 after their 3-0 victory.
But with postseason hero Josh Ryan toeing the rubber for game two, the RedHawks felt good about their odds of tying up the series and forcing a rubber match.
Ryan allowed two runs in the first inning, but cruised from that point forward, allowing just two additional Hallsville hits. The third inning saw the RedHawks take the lead for good, thanks to a Justin Crider two-run triple. Brian Simpson added an insurance run in the fifth with an RBI single. The 4-2 win dealt the Bobcats just their fourth loss of the entire season, and forced the decisive game three.
Bobcats starter Coby Weaver was solid, allowing just two earned runs, but was still tagged with the loss despite his seven strikeouts.
For game three, Hallsville sent Colton Brasher to the mound. He pitched well solid over five innings of work before handing over the game to ace Connor Reich, the game one winner. Although Reich was wild at first, hitting the first two batters he faced, he recovered to close the door on the game and the series. The Hallsville Bobcats advance to the Regional Finals for the first time in school history.
Liberty’s Michael Cantrell took the loss. For the Liberty RedHawks, they finish as Regional Quarterfinals Champs and State Semifinalists. The RedHawks started their postseason run with a three-game series win over Mesquite Poteet, followed by a one-game run-rule victory over Bryan Adams. Next, it was friendly foe Frisco High School that Liberty bested in three in the Regional Quarterfinals.
If there is a silver lining to being eliminated from the 2014 UIL Baseball Playoffs, it’s that this means the 2014 high school football season can’t be too far away…