For the first time in 27 years the Deer baseball team has clinched a spot in the state baseball tournament with a dramatic extra innings 2-1 walk-off victory over Ft. Bend Travis. Deer Park will play Southlake Carroll in one of two state semifinal matchups at 4 p.m. in Round Rock Friday. The winner will play for the state 6A title Saturday.
With their backs against the proverbial wall facing elimination, the Deer baseball team pulled out two dramatic wins to secure a berth in the state 6A baseball championship tournament.
The second of those wins came in a winner-take-all Game 3 in Crosby Saturday afternoon. With Deer Park and Travis pitching shutting down the opposing offenses, the Deer finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth when Chase Keng scored on Josiah Ortiz’s sacrifice fly to centerfield.
In the top of the seventh inning, Deer Park found itself one strike away from a trip to Round Rock, but back-to-back base hits from the Tigers knotted the game at 1-1, sending it to extra innings.
The score remained going to the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, the Deer loaded the bases without getting a base hit, setting the stage for a Deer Park walk-off victory.
And walk-off they did. Literally. Jacobe Martinez did not lift the bat off his shoulder as he saw four straight pitches outside the strike zone to earn a bases-loaded walk and send the Deer and their fans into a frenzy and the team’s first state tournament berth since 1990.
Adrian Gonzalez went 6.2 innings, to get the win, striking out four, walking two and allowing six hits and a run. Starter Mark Barrow went 1.1 innings, striking out two and walking two, allowing only one hit.
Deer Park will play Southlake Carrol Friday at 4 p.m. at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The winner of this game will play Saturday against the winner of Round Rock High School and San Antonio Reagan.