JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
SHINER — The Marble Falls High School baseball team’s season ended in a 6-3 loss to San Antonio Alamo Heights on May 11.
The two teams played a one-game, winner-take-all contest in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs after rain on May 10 forced them to change the format from best of three.
Mustangs head coach J.T. Blair credited his 10 seniors for the squad’s accomplishments, including finishing as the District 25-4A runner-up and a bi-district championship.
“We gave our school and our community something to be proud of,” he said. “That’s what we’ll look back on, that’s what we’ll remember. I remember one day having a conversation with Joey Blackledge before we even started practicing. He said, ‘We’re going to be good. Not only will we be in the playoffs, we’ll compete for the district championship.’ And they did that, they believed it.”
The Mustangs (23-8) struck first with a two-run single from senior Stacy Heinatz in the first inning for a 2-0 lead.
But Heights came back with a home run in the third from Cole Bailey for the Mules’ first run. Then the Mules scored again in the fourth to tie the game.
Heights took the lead in the fifth with a two-run single by Kalen Brockwell. The Mustangs had walked the first two batters and intentionally loaded the bases with one out. Brockwell’s hit came after the second out.
Marble Falls trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in the sixth with a one-run double by Domenic Patterson.
In the sixth inning, the Mustangs called for a pitching change after two outs but with a runner on base. Jacob Maloy hit a ball into the center-right-field gap that popped out of the outfielder’s glove when he dived for the catch.
“Take your hat off to (the Mules),” Blair said. “They got the big hit when they needed it.”
Heights senior pitcher Cameron Mineo (9-2) got the win, giving up four runs off four hits with two walks, one hit by a pitcher and striking out six in seven innings.
Mustangs senior pitcher Cole Ridgely was credited with the loss, giving up five earned runs off seven hits with three walks and striking out seven in 5 2/3 innings.
“Cole has been our go-to guy all year,” Blair said of Ridgely. “Anytime we’re in a one-game situation, I will always put him on the mound.”