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Reagan drops 2-0 decision to Westlake in Game 1

May 17, 2019

If the Reagan Ratters are going to return to the UIL state tournament for the third time in a row, they’ll have to do something they never had to in their two previous trips there — come from behind in a best-of-3 series.

Reagan put itself in that predicament by losing 2-0 to Austin Westlake in Game 1 of their Class 6A regional quarterfinal series Thursday at North East Sports Park.

Westlake (30-6-1) rode a nine-strikeout performance by senior starter Dylan Savino to earn the victory.

Reagan (31-6-1) had runners in every inning but one, but stranded five of 10 in scoring position. In the end, the Rattlers offered no support for junior Travis Sthele, who struck out nine, allowed four hits and went the distance.

“We had baserunners in (almost) every single inning, and we couldn’t get them in,” Reagan coach Chans Chapman said. “You can’t do that in this round. The mistakes are magnified.”

Reagan will try to even the series at 7:30 p.m. today at Westlake. If Reagan wins, a decisive third game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at North East Sports Park.

“It’s not over,” Chapman said. “It’s why you play two out of three. If you play a one-game deal, your season’s over. We still have a chance. If we can get them tomorrow night, we’ll get them back home and see what happens.”

Westlake, which is making its deepest playoff run since 2009, opened the scoring in the second on Elliot Schwarzbach’s RBI double that scored Ford Elliott.

Elliott reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Grant Roosma. Schwarzbach followed with a line drive that dropped in front of a diving Zane Raba, the Rattlers center fielder.

The Rattlers nearly tied it on the bottom of the second, but Hogan Heller was thrown out at home after tagging on Sthele’s flyout to center. Westlake’s centerfielder Denton Apple made an accurate relay throw to help get Heller.

That turned out to be the closet scoring chance for the Rattlers. Heller also had a big shot over the left-field fence in the fourth inning that hooked foul.

Westlake made it 2-0 in the third when Taylor Anderson singled in Apple, who opened the frame with a single. Apple stole second and scored from there on Anderson’s hit.

Savino caught fire in the fourth inning when he struck out the side, giving him four in a row. He also retired the side in the sixth and allowed just three hits in 61/3 innings.

“He did a fantastic job,” Chapman said. “Anytime you don’t give up any runs in a game this big, that guy pitched well.”

Savino was lifted with one out in the seventh when he reached his pitch limit after a walk to Sthele, who ended up on third on two wild pitches by reliever Gray Hamilton. Cal Martin walked to put runners on the corners before Hamilton struck out Raba to end the game.

dhinojosa@express-news.net

Twitter: @hinojosa_david