Hartshorne’s scoring came in spurts, putting up a run here, a couple runs there, but always with scoreless innings in between.
Calera’s offense steadily put up run after run after run.
Starting in the third, Calera scored in every inning, helping the Bulldogs beat the Miners 6-4 in Friday’s regional semifinal at the Baseball/Softball Complex in Hartshorne.
In the first round of the tournament, Calera beat Panama 4-2 and Hartshorne beat Haworth 1-0 in nine innings. Hartshorne played Haworth on Saturday, needing to win that game and then beat Calera twice to advance to the Class 2A state tournament.
“Our strikeouts were extremely low all day long,” Calera coach Rickey Teafatiller said. “If you can do that, you have to chance to win. We hadn’t hit the baseball extremely hard today, but we made every pitcher work every at-bat.”
Hartshorne pitcher Brett Akins started both the Miners’ regional games Friday, so he’d thrown the equivalent of a complete game by the bottom of third inning against Calera. Connor Hamilton led off with a single to right, then Akins walked Josh Loper on four pitches.
The Bulldogs executed a double-steal to get both runners into scoring position, then Riley Barton singled sharply into center field to drive both runners in. Caleb Phillips then doubled to left to score Barton for a 3-1 Bulldogs lead they never relinquished.
Phillips added a double against Miners reliever Tyler Lindley in the fifth and a sacrifice fly that drove in a run in the sixth, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored.
“That first kid (Akins), his off-speed (pitching) was pretty good, and he really kept you off-balance,” Phillips said. “The second guy (Lindley), he’s a good pitcher, I think he threw a little bit harder, but his off-speed wasn’t quite as good.”