In the 3A state semifinal, a game that was delayed for over an hour before it officially began at 8:05pm, the Shallowater Mustangs and West tipped off for a chance to play in the state 3A final against Van Alstyne, who won their game earlier to secure a spot in the title game. It was a pitchers duel early, but got away from Shallowater late and cost the Mustangs a chance at the win.
In the first inning, Ryan Kotulek pitched brilliantly in the top of half of the frame and in the bottom of the first JD Townsend singled, stole second, and scored after Connor Smith pushed him in with a rbi ground out to give the Mustangs a 1-0 early lead, heading into the second inning. The score held firm until the top of the third when Shallowater secured the first two outs of the inning until West made a run. After loading the bases with a walk, West’s Tristan Gonzalez scored on a pass ball to tie the score at 1. On the next pitch, Dalton Weithorn smacked a 2-run double to give West their first lead in the top of the 3rd, 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Mustangs put runners on first and third with 2-outs but couldn’t convert which left the score 3-1 heading into the top of the sixth inning. In the sixth, the Trojans padded their lead with a bunt rbi from Tyler Kaluza, followed by a 2-run single from Paxton Griffin to make it 6-1 in favor of the Trojans. Ryan Kotulek was pulled immediately after, ending his Senior season with a nine strikeout performance; a performance that garnered Ryan his first loss of the season as he finished 11-1 in his season campaign. In the bottom of the inning, the Mustangs got a runner on second, but stranded Connor Smith to leave the score at 6-1 heading into the final frame.
After Shallowater held West scoreless in the top of the seventh, the Mustangs failed to produce a comeback as Preston Macik struck out the side, and struck out the last six batters for Shallowater in a row which brought his total to 11 strikeouts on the night in a decisive win for West. Shallowater finished the season 32-4-2 and made their first trip to the state tournament! West will play Van Alstyne for the 3A state championship tomorrow at Noon. Once again, great season for Shallowater!
Here are the game stats below!