Tigers sweep Crandall, claim bi-district title

Senior Riley Ramsey got the start and win in the clinching game of Wills Point’s bi-district round win over Crandall May 7.

The Wills Point Tiger baseball team has been no stranger to postseason baseball, perennially qualifying to compete in the playoffs. Postseason play in recent seasons has been short lived, however, with the Tigers being bounced from the bi-district round every year since 2012.

Wills Point broke through that barrier this year in a big way against Crandall May 6-7, winning each of the first two games of a best-of-three series against the Pirates to sweep their way into the Area round.

The Tigers got a stellar pitching performance from lefthander Hosea Carroll in game one of the series, outlasting Crandall 2-1 in a low scoring affair.

Carroll pitched all seven innings to get the win, allowing four hits and an unearned run while striking out three.

Play early on favored pitching and defense, with neither team scoring until the top of the third. Wills Point got things started offensively that inning with a leadoff single by Sam Berberich, followed by a steal of second base.

With two outs, Hosea Carroll doubled to left to score Berberich and give Wills Point a 1-0 lead. The score remained unchanged until the top of the sixth when Caden Bennett came home on a passed ball after a one-out triple.

The insurance run would prove to be crucial after Crandall plated a run in the bottom of the seventh on a double, a wild pitch and a fielding error. Up 2-1, Carroll induced a groundout to second base to end the game and preserve the Tiger victory.

Leading hitters for Wills Point included Hosea Carroll going 2/3 with a double and an RBI, Caden Bennett going 1/3 with a triple and a run scored, Jayton Oldacre going 1/2, and Sam Berberich going 1/3 with a run scored.

Game two of the series, played in Wills Point May 7, would play out much differently than game one with the Tiger offense pounding out 14 hits in a 13-3, five-inning victory over the Pirates.

Impressively, Wills Point scored runs in all four innings in which they batted, plating four runs in the first, third and fourth innings and adding a single run in the second in a dominating effort.

Leading hitters for the Tigers included Hosea Carroll going 3/4 with 3 RBI, Jarred Sanford going 2/3 with 2 RBI and three runs scored, Logan Morris going 2/3 with 2 RBI and two runs scored, Seth Wilson going 2/2 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored, Jayton Oldacre going 2/3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, Sam Berberich going 2/3 with 2 RBI and two runs scored and Caden Bennett going 1/3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Riley Ramsey got the start and win, pitching four innings while allowing three hits and three unearned runs. Kolton Adams closed the game by not allowing a run in one inning of work.

Wills Point will now play Texarkana Pleasant Grove in the Area round with game one scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight (May 13) in Texarkana, and game two scheduled for 1 p.m. May 14 in Wills Point. Game three, if necessary, will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two. Texarkana Pleasant Grove, champions of District 15-4A, advanced to the Area round by getting past the Tyler Chapel Hill Bulldogs 3-2 in a one game series.