Tomcats bow out against Wolfe City
BELLS — Tradition can’t just come out of nowhere and then quickly disappear. Tom Bean spent decades trying to reach the playoffs but until the last two postseasons, the Tomcats had been just once in their history.
Now several starters have been multiple times and the next goal is to produce some success when they get there.
“To be playing in May, that’s a good feeling. There’s some guys who have done this a couple of times and so many have come through never got to do this,” Tom Bean head coach Lance Pauler said. “I feel good about the foundation that we’re laying.”
After dropping the series opener in 11 innings, the Tomcats were unable to keep their season alive as Wolfe City finished off a sweep with an 8-3 victory over Tom Bean in a Class 2A Region II bi-district match-up.
Wolfe City (9-10), which will face Muenster in the area round, advanced past the first round for the first time since 2012.
Lance Pauler was 2-for-3, hit by a pitch and scored, Chase Parsons was 2-for-3 with a double and scored and Dustin Hickman singled and drove in two for Tom Bean (13-8), which had only made the playoffs in 2011 before these back-to-back appearances.
In the third, the first four Tomcats reached base to produce a 3-0 advantage. Gage Moore singled but was picked off and Parsons followed with a double. Pauler was hit by a pitch and Alex Sanchez had an RBI single through the right side.
Hickman then drove in a run with a groundout.
Tom Bean had jumped to the lead in the first inning when Parsons reached on an error, Pauler singled to left and then Hickman reached on a two-out infield single to third to drive in a run.
But from the fourth inning on, the Tomcats struggled to put anything together. An inning-ending double play in the fourth kept Tom Bean from adding to a three-run advantage after Chris Harmon reached on an error and Wyatt Curd singled up the middle to turn the lineup over.
Wolfe City turned to Connor Adams for the final three innings and he worked around a one-out single by Pauler in the fifth and got some help in the seventh when Tony Jones threw out Curd trying to go from first to third on Parsons’ one-out single to right.
Wolfe City closed out the scoring in the sixth when Aiden McDonald had a two-out RBI double to left center.
With one out in the fifth Josh Colbert was hit by a pitch, Jaron Percell reached on an error to put runners at the corners and a wild pitch put Wolfe City up 6-3.
Adams followed with an RBI single to right.
Colbert opened the fourth inning with a single and Percell followed with a triple to center to get the Wolves on the board. Percell then tried to score on a wild pitch but Pauler recovered in time with a throw from the backstop to get him at the plate.
Adams and Ethan Alexander singled with the latter containing an error that made it a 3-2 contest. Cayden Herron singled and stole second before Logan Lankford’s sacrifice.
Sanchez’s throw on the bunt to first went into foul territory and two runs scored as Wolfe City took the lead. Jones had a bunt to plate another run which made it 5-3.
“They did what they needed to do to take advantage,” Pauler said. “We made mistakes at some key moments.”
Wolfe City had a chance to cut into the lead in the bottom of the third but made a pair of base running mistakes as Jones got picked off second and Ben Cagle was nabbed in a rundown between third and home.
Wolfe City opened the series with a 7-5 victory in 11 innings.
Tom Bean was led by Sanchez, who was 2-for-4 with a double, walked, drove in two and scored while Aiden Jones walked twice and scored, Curd was 2-for-5, Moore walked and drove in a pair and Pauler singled, walked and scored twice.
The Tomcats led 3-0 after two innings before Wolfe City scored four times in the third. Tom Bean tied it in the bottom of the fifth and it stayed that way for the next five innings until the Wolves notched three runs in the top of the 11th.
Tom Bean scored and put the tying run on base in the bottom of the inning but the comeback ended there.
“It’s a hard way to end it,” Pauler said. “We played well towards the end of the year to put us in this spot.”
Class 2A Region II
Wolfe City 8
Tom Bean 3
Note: Wolfe City wins series 2-0