A five-run rally, all with two outs in the top of the second inning, proved to be the difference as the Lamar Tigers claimed the Class 3 District 13 baseball championship, beating the El Dorado Springs Bulldogs 6-3 Tuesday, May 14, at El Dorado.
The Bulldogs had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Ty Davis, scoring Preston Robison.
In the second, everything changed when Lamar’s Sam Mather came to the plate with one out. He hit a high popup between El Do pitcher Gaven Morgan and catcher Derek Hayes. Morgan almost made a spectacular diving catch but just missed. The ball was still fair, however, and Morgan quickly recovered to throw Mather out at first base.
“Gaven’s an athlete, and in that situation he didn’t have to come out [to make the play], but it actually hit his glove, so I guess he had a shot,” Bulldog coach Jeremy Barger said. “He just gave everything he had and kind of bumped himself up a little bit.”
The impact of the dive appeared to affect Morgan physically and mentally, as the sophomore struggled from the mound thereafter. Robert Lawrence and Cade Griffith both walked, and Wyatt Hull was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Duncan Gepner drew a base on balls to force in Lawrence. Case Tucker beat out a bunt single as two more runs scored. Tucker Torbeck was intentionally walked, then Mason Gastel singled to center field, scoring Gepner. Rylan Woolridge was hit by a pitch to force in Tucker, and Barger finally had seen enough, replacing Morgan on the mound with Logan Spencer.
“That’s baseball in a nutshell right there,” Barger said. “I think that’s only the second or third time all year we’ve given up that many runs in an inning. We’re only averaging giving up three runs a game. It’s tough and you never want to see it happen, but that’s baseball.”
The Bulldogs (15-6) got a run back in the bottom of the second as Robison’s single to left field plated Spencer. They added another run in the fifth as Morgan’s RBI double to right scored Trevyn Garringer.
Lamar (12-8) tacked on its sixth run in the sixth inning as Lawrence came home after Morgan, now catching, made an errant pickoff throw to third base.
The loss marked the final game for El Dorado seniors Orlando Guerrero and Ty Davis. It also marked the end of Barger’s run as Bulldog baseball coach. Barger will become the El Dorado Springs activities director this fall, while Nick Engleman takes the coaching reins.
“I think they’re gonna be good,” Barger said of next year’s team. “Coach Engleman will do a great job with them. They’ll be hitting the ball a little better, they’ll have another year under their belts. I told them I fully expect them to get the other [champion’s] trophy next year in this game.”
Lamar 050 001 0—6 6 0
El Dorado 110 010 0—3 5 1
Mason Gastel, Wyatt Hull (5) and Duncan Gepner; Gaven Morgan, Logan Spencer (2) and Derek Hayes, Morgan (3).
Hits: Lamar — Case Tucker 2, Mason Gastel, Wyatt Hull (2B), Rylan Woolridge, Robert Lawrence. El Dorado Springs — Preston Robison 2, Ty Davis, Logan Spencer, Orlando Guerrero.