While Sealy had athletes competing over two days at the state track meet in Austin, just 45 minutes down the road the school also saw its varsity baseball team taking the diamond to face the Fredericksburg Billies in Georgetown.
The Tigers advanced to the area round after sweeping El Campo thanks to an impressive offensive performance in both games.
It seemed as though Sealy would continue their offensive streak after the first game of the series. Senior Justin Eckhardt began the game by getting on first after being hit by a pitch and later scored off a two-out single by fellow senior Devin Aguado. Tanner Stilts drove Aguado home on the next at-bat with a single to put Sealy up 2-0 at the midway point of the first inning.
The Billies took the lead in the third inning scoring three runs all on errors. It was a common theme for them through the first game as they would go on to score two more runs in the game with one coming off another error.
“Garret Zaskoda pitched a really good game for us and even though we let up five runs, only one was earned so he came out for us when we needed him to and it really helped us get that first win,” Head Coach Dane Bennett said.
Fredericksburg lost the lead as fast as they took it as Sealy retook the lead in the next half-inning by scoring two runs off an error and Aguado again sent a runner home off a sacrifice fly. The Tigers tacked on their final three runs of the game in the last two innings thanks to a Brennan Brandes triple and a passed ball by the Billies.
The Tigers played game two of the series the next day in an attempt to close the series in a sweep. Unfortunately for Sealy, their offensive production saw a steep drop-off while Fredricksburg found their stride.
Thanks to two singles, the Billies went into the third inning up 2-1 on Sealy and extended their lead in the third inning. After another single put them up 3-1 and they had men on first and second, Fredricksburg hit a three-run home run to go up 6-1. The Billies again grew their lead in the fifth inning off a three-run double and a groundout to go up 10-2.
“Devin [Aguado] pitched most of the game for us and he had his struggles here and there but we just got unlucky with our bats,” Bennett said. “We were getting contact a lot but every time the ball just went directly into someone’s direction so we just couldn’t produce any runs.”
Sealy wound up losing the game 11-3 with game three coming just under an hour later to decide the series. Unfortunately for the Tigers, their offensive struggles continued into that game as well.
The first two innings were scoreless for both teams but the Billies took advantage of two one-out singles in the third inning. They scored their first run off a single and two more off the next batter’s double. Two singles and a triple in the top of the sixth inning put the Billies up 6-0.
Sealy was held scoreless throughout the game and tallied only four hits over seven innings. The 6-0 score would go on to be the final score and end the Tigers’ season.
“To be frank, we just got out-hit and we can’t let that happen and expect to win because the sport just doesn’t work that way,” Bennett said. “We’ve been streaky all season and we just hit one of those bad streaks at the worst possible time.”
Sealy had 11 seniors on this year’s roster and will look to replace that talent for the 2019 season. It’s a task Bennett is confident can be done thanks to the seniors lasting legacy.
“We have guys like Zaskoda, Hunter Kelley, Clay Roberts and other guys coming back and they’re going to be key to keeping the success going,” Bennett said. “Especially because these seniors laid down a good foundation of the type of work ethic that it takes to make it all the way and that’s something they should take serious pride in because they were the embodiment of good work ethic.”