College Park defeats Spring in first game of playoffs
THE WOODLANDS, Texas- The College Park Cavaliers defeated the Spring Lions 3-2 in the first game of playoffs on Thursday night, demonstrating their determination and drive by pulling out a win in the final plays of the game.
“This is not our first come from behind win; it’s not our first one-run win. This is a tough group of kids and you better play them until the last out, and they showed that again tonight,” College Park head coach Jason Washburn said of his team’s performance.
The game continued on scoreless until the third inning, when the Lions scored two runs off a single RBI. Number 9 of the Spring Lions hit a home run, allowing for him and a teammate to produce a lead for Spring. The Cavaliers, however, did not let the early lead define the game, and slowly but surely came back throughout the rest of the nine-inning game.
Senior Cavalier Roosevelt Henderson got the game going for College Park in the fifth inning, when his chance at bat turned into an executed RBI that allowed fellow senior teammate Aaron Perkins to run home. Perkins, along with teammates Nate Fisbeck and Henderson, took advantage of the time Spring gave them while scrambling for the ball. Perkins was the only one that made it home, but thanks to Henderson, the Cavaliers had control of both first and second base, and a point on the board.
The Cavaliers came back again in the bottom of the sixth inning, with an RBI from Noah Vaughn that was the catalyst for another College Park run, courtesy of Fisbeck. The Lions’ defense made a mistake which allowed for more time for the Cavaliers to run, putting Vaughn at second and Fisbeck at home plate.
The Cavaliers switched up their defense at the beginning of the eighth inning, putting former pitcher Tyler Mortenson at catcher and Nate Fisbeck at pitcher. The new defense proved extremely successful, keeping the Lions from scoring again and specifically shutting down a near-altering opportunity for Spring. Vaughn sent a ball from third base to the catcher’s plate where it met the hands of Mortenson right as a Spring runner was about to hit home. This prevented the Lions from having three runs, and ultimately could have been the deciding factor between a tie and a win for the Cavaliers.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the ninth inning, when College Park was facing two outs and Vaughn was facing two strikes. At the last possible opportunity and the most crucial moment of the game, Vaughn produced a RBI that allowed Perkins to run home and score the game-winning point for College Park.
“Noah Vaughn gets to be a hero on defense and on offense. He made that throw in the beginning of the eighth inning, and that was a big time throw… He is the hero of the day,” Coach Washburn said. “Overall, an extremely well-played high school baseball game. I think Spring played extremely tough, they’re a good ball club, and we’ve got our hands full tomorrow, without a doubt.”
The Cavaliers will face the Lions in one more required game on Friday at Spring, with the possibility of having to play again on Saturday if Spring wins that game. The winner of the best two out of three games will continue to advance in the playoffs, with the hopes of making it to the state championship.