Baseball crown proves elusive for four teams

Four Houston area high school baseball teams qualified for the 2018 University Interscholastic League state baseball tournament.

In a good year one or more of those teams would garner two victories and return home with a state championship trophy in tow. Yet baseball purists realize that while 4-for-4 (four hits in four at-bats) is a rarity, a 2-for-4 is a pretty fair day.

The Houston area high school baseball community gets a heartbreaking 0-for-4 in pursuit of a state baseball crown in 2018.

Sweeny came the closest of the four in the Class 4A division after Caden Homniok’s 3-0 shutout eliminated Godley in the state semifinals. Jaden Bohlar had a two RBI double in the contest and Nathan Nance added a run on a Godley error.

Making their first state tournament since 2015 and seeking the school’s first state baseball title since 1985, the Bulldogs faced unbeaten Argyle in the 4A state championship game.

Following a scoreless five innings Argyle erupted for five runs in the sixth inning to break the game open.

The 5-0 victory improved Argyle to 37-0 on the season and marked the fourth time in UIL history that a state baseball champion went undefeated. Sweeny finished 35-6.

Kingwood Park (32-13) put up a monumental fight in the Class 5A state semifinals before succumbing to Northwest Eaton 3-2 in eight innings.

Ryan Long’s two RBI single in the third inning erased a two-run deficit the Panthers had faced since the first inning.

The score remained deadlocked at 2-2 until Eaton’s Colbie Fritchen knocked in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the eighth.

“This game was a microcosm of our season minus the fact that we just couldn’t find that one hit or that one opportunity to touch home plate one more time,” said Kingwood Park coach Bruce Cox.

Northwest Eaton defeated Forney 4-1 in the 5A state title game.

Two Houston area schools advanced to the Class 6A state baseball tournament.

Both Cypress Ranch (2015) and The Woodlands (2013) had won state championships in their previous appearances at the state baseball tournament.

Two Southlake Carroll errors by sophomore shortstop Jorge Figueroa enabled The Woodlands to tie the game at 1-1 in the fifth inning.

However, it was Figueroa’s two-run double in the sixth that proved to be the game winner in a 3-1 victory.

Steven Beard of The Woodlands and Carroll’s unbeaten ace Nicco Cole squared off in an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel.

Cole improved to 13-0 on the season with 10 strikeouts and three hits allowed in the complete-game win.

“Steven fell behind the hitter 2-0 and placed a fastball where he (Figueroa) could put a good swing on it and he hit it well,” Highlanders coach Ron Eastman said.

The Woodlands won state titles in 2000, 2006 and 2013. The Highlanders finished 25-15-1 in 2018.

San Antonio Reagan answered a 1-0 deficit to Cy Ranch with a five-spot in the bottom of the second inning and defeated the Mustangs 5-1 at Dell Diamond.

Cy Ranch won state titles in its previous two trips to the state tournament in 2012 and 2015. The Mustangs finished 32-9-2 in 2018.

Southlake Carroll’s 7-2 victory over SA Reagan secured the 2018 Class 6A state baseball crown.