by Chance Bailey
A season long goal finally came into fruition last Tuesday night. The Colmesneil Bulldogs have won the district championship, beating the West Sabine Tigers for the second time in as many games. Senior pitcher Cullen Barker started the last district game of his high school career. The Bulldogs got off to a bit of a rough start on Tuesday, giving up a run in the first inning and not being able to get any of their first three batters on base. In the second inning, the Bulldogs were able to get on the board, taking advantage of an error from West Sabine's catcher, allowing Dylan Falcon to steal home to give the Bulldogs a 1-1 tie. The Bulldogs were able to take their first lead of the game when Daniel Bruton hit an RBI single and Cullen Barker easily stole home in the third inning, making the score 3-1. When the fourth inning started, Barker was on a roll, pitching two straight shutout innings. He continued this success, striking out two batters, allowing the Bulldogs to maintain their slim lead. The Bulldogs were able to capitalize on more West Sabine errors, as they were able to steal home twice in the fifth inning, giving the Bulldogs a substantial 5-1 lead. After a one, two, three inning for the Bulldogs, they stepped on to the field at the top of the seventh inning with the score 5-2 looking to walk off the field as district champions. As long as they gave up less than three runs, the Bulldogs would do just that. After allowing a run to make the score 5-3, the Bulldogs had recorded two outs and had two strikes on the Tiger's batter. Cullen Barker reared back on the last pitch of his district career, and struck the batter out. The Bulldogs dugout charged the mound with a celebratory attack on Barker, realizing that they had just been crowned as the district champions, earning them a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Bulldogs will play a three game series against the Cushing Bearcats on Friday and Saturday.
After a 6-0 start, the Lady Dogs season has come to an abrupt end. In the Lady Dogs first playoff game of the season, they traveled to Center to play the Lady Dogs of Garrison. Junior pitcher Ali Harvey took the mound for Colmesneil. First inning nerves got the best of the Lady Dogs, as they gave up two runs on three hits. The Colmesneil Lady Dogs continued to struggle to put runs on the board until Ali Harvey hit a solo homerun to centerfield in the third inning, closing the gap to 2-1 to start the fourth. The Lady Dogs stellar pitching and outstanding outfield play allowed them to keep the game within reach, and then the Lady Dogs were able to tie the game up 2-2 on Ali Harvey's RBI single in the fifth inning. This score would stand all the way into extra innings, as both Colmesneil and Garrison played solid defense. The game was evenly matched, it was just going to come down to who blinked first. At the top of the tenth inning, the Lady Dogs of Colmesneil did just that. With Harvey on the mound and runners on second and third base with two outs, Colmesneil had a chance to escape this inning with no damage done. With two outs and a full count on the Garrison player that was at bat, Harvey gave her a fastball and seemed to have struck the girl out, ending the inning. But a pitcher-to-catcher mistake allowed the batter that had seemingly struck out to make it to first base, and the runner on third was able to come home and give the Garrison Lady Dogs a 3-2 lead. On the very next pitch, another pitcher-to-catcher mistake allowed Garrison to score another run on errors, giving Colmesneil a two run deficit in the bottom of the tenth inning. The Lady Dogs weren't able to overcome the deficit, as they fell to Garrison by a final score of 4-2, ending their season and dreams of contending for a state championship.