ROUND ROCK – Texas high school baseball’s giants stay atop their perch.
Southlake Carroll defeated Ridge Point 17-0 to win the Class 6A state championship in five innings Saturday at Dell Diamond.
The 17 runs break a 68-year-old UIL record formerly held by Highland Park for most runs in a 6A title game or the highest classification’s title game. Carroll’s 11-run third inning also breaks a 6A record held by Dallas Samuel (1965), Abilene (1956) and Beaumont South Park (1951) for most runs scored in an inning of a title game. The previous mark was eight.
Carroll – now back-to-back state champions – went from escaping a bases-loaded jam to a four-run spark in the first inning on the way to the resounding win. Ridge Point finished the game with six errors and used five pitchers that walked a combined nine Carroll batters.
Early signs looked promising for Ridge Point. Two walks and a Carroll error had Ridge Point’s Gabe Colaianni, Hayde Key and Will Pendergrass on base with one out in the first inning.
The other two outs, however, came from Carroll starter Joe Steeber’s consecutive strikeouts to end the threat as soon as it built up. Steeber displayed some energy as he left the mound. It seemed to carry over in Carroll’s at-bats for the rest of the day.
The Dragons (33-11) bagged 11 RBIs in this game off nine hits. The 11-run third inning came via four hits and three errors. Ridge Point pitchers walked six Carroll batters and hit two that inning. They’d face 17 total Carroll batters that third inning, too.
Ridge Point starter Dylan Bobo was replaced after an inning of work by Mitch Cashion. Bobo was one of Friday’s heroes in late relief of ace Key. Bobo faced his own bases loaded moment protecting a 5-2 lead against McKinney Boyd in the top of the seventh inning of the 6A semifinal. He nabbed a groundout to end the game and start the celebration.
The celebration belonged to Carroll on Saturday. The powerhouse school northwest of downtown Dallas does that a lot at this stage of the season. The Dragons were in the state tournament field for the ninth time overall and third consecutive time.
Ridge Point (33-4-1) hopes to go from breakthrough season to area favorite next season. The program is just eight years old but the ceiling had been 2017’s regional semifinal before this year.
Six of the nine in Saturday’s lineup are underclassmen for Ridge Point – five juniors a freshman.
Key is a junior. He was 6-0 on the mound this postseason and 13-2 overall. Jack Baker and Jacob Garcia are juniors. Their fourth-inning RBI hits in the semifinal were crucial and they’ve made many plays of that ilk this season. Bobo is a junior. Ridge Point coach Clinton Welch said he’s expertly handled the closer’s role this year.
If Ridge Point left any mark from this season, it’s how exciting its run was. The Panthers saw comeback wins in series against Cy-Fair, Atascocita and Kingwood on the way to their first 6A Region III title.
They even trailed 2-0 in Friday’s win over Boyd before winning thanks to a four-run fourth inning.