Superior depth sends Churchill past Lake Travis

May 21, 2017 GMT

DRIPPING SPRINGS - Austin Lake Travis beat Churchill once on Saturday.

The Chargers knew the Cavaliers could not topple them twice.

Lake Travis won 5-2 in Game 2 of their Region IV-6A quarterfinal series at Dripping Springs, forcing a decisive third game shortly thereafter. Churchill then displayed its superior pitching depth, attacking a depleted Cavaliers staff and riding the right arm of Jack Neely to a 14-2 win in a rubber game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule.

“We knew we were equipped for it,” Churchill catcher Garrett Wilkinson said. “We knew if we had to play two, our pitcher on the mound was going to be better than theirs.”


The Chargers (23-7-2), ranked fifth in Class 6A in the latest poll conducted by the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, will face McAllen (28-3) in their first regional semifinal appearance since 2012. Details for the matchup will be finalized Monday.

The second-ranked Cavaliers (27-6-1), who lost in the regional quarterfinals for the second season in a row, used seven pitchers in Game 3. None were particularly effective as Churchill capitalized on 10 walks, a hit batsman and a run-scoring wild pitch.

“We needed somebody to come out there and throw strikes,” Lake Travis catcher Jacob Wyeth said.

That was not an issue in Game 2 as Lake Travis sophomore Brett Baty, a University of Texas commitment, made his first start of the season and struck out seven in a complete game. He played first base in Game 3 and exited after a fifth-inning collision with Churchill’s Sam Serchay, with Lake Travis coach Mike Rogers saying Baty appeared to have broken his left wrist.

Neely, a hard-throwing junior who also has committed to UT, made his second start of the season in Game 3. He held the Cavaliers to two runs and five hits with four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. Senior Matt Moran, who was Churchill’s closer last year, finished off the win. He retired all five batters he faced and struck out three. Churchill’s offense, after being handcuffed for much of Game 2, erupted for 14 hits in Game 3 and scored three runs in each of the first two innings.

“They’re a very talented team,” Rogers said.