JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
AUSTIN — The Marble Falls High School baseball team advanced to the area round of the playoffs after beating Austin LBJ 5-4 on May 4 in Game 2 of the teams’ bi-district series.
The Mustangs won Game 1 by a score of 9-1 on May 3.
It’s the second consecutive year Marble Falls (23-7) has reached the second round.
And the Mustangs will face a familiar opponent: San Antonio Alamo Heights, which won its series against San Antonio Brennan 2-0.
But as for the one-run win against the Jaguars, Marble Falls head coach J.T. Blair said he wasn’t surprised the contest was close.
“That’s how we expected them to play today,” he said. “They’re a good team. They were going to be ready.”
The Mustangs quickly scored a run off an RBI single from senior Stacy Heintaz in the first inning. Marble Falls then added two runs in the third courtesy of a two-RBI double from senior Mike Richardson.
But the Mustangs weren’t done. Junior Carson Bowen hit a one-run single and later scored on a sacrifice flyball by senior Cole Ridgely in the fourth inning.
“We hit the ball really well, especially early in the game,” Blair said. “We hit the ball hard, too..”
LBJ responded in the bottom of the fourth, plating four runs and forcing the Mustangs to use a different pitcher. LBJ was awarded four walks, and one batter was hit by a pitch. The Jags recorded two hits and sent 10 different batters to the plate in the inning.
“When we got up 5-0, I knew the only way they could get back in the game was if we walked guys,” Blair said. “We hadn’t done that all year, and we can’t start doing that now. We have to throw strikes and pitch to contact.”
In all, the Mustangs used four pitchers, including Ridgely, the Game 1 winner.
Heinatz threw in the sixth inning, while Ridgely took over in the seventh for the save, striking out the last batter he faced.
“We get quality starts out of those guys in our rotation,” Blair said. “And then, we have guys who come out of the bullpen and shut the door. Stacy comes ready to play. We know what we’re going to get out of him.”
ON OFFENSE: Marble Falls — RBIs: Richardson 2, Heinatz 1, Ridgely 1, Bowen 1; hits: Heinatz 3-4. LBJ – RBIs: Zach Johnson 2.
ON DEFENSE: Winning pitcher (Marble Falls) Cody Goodman (4-4) 2 earned runs off 2 hits, 4 walks and 2 strikeouts; save – Cole Ridgely (12-2-1). Losing pitcher (LBJ) Daniel Weinberg 3 runs off 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 hits by pitch and 1 strikeout.