MONTGOMERY — The Robinson baseball team couldn’t hold back the Jasper bats for long enough in their Class 4A Region III semifinal series.
Jasper scored at least one run in every innings of the deciding Game 3 and cruised to a 13-1 run-rule victory on Friday night at the Montgomery High School baseball stadium.
Earlier on Friday, Robinson surged in front and stayed in control to win Game 2, 9-5, and force the rubber match.
Jasper scored four runs in the top of the second inning of Game 3 to establish a 5-0 lead and the Bulldogs never let up. Jasper’s designated hitter Leo Escalante blasted a home run over the wall in left-center field for a 7-0 lead in the top of the fourth, then Jasper poured it on with six runs in the fifth.
Robinson had just one hit through the first three innings. The Rockets didn’t answer with a run until the bottom of the fourth when Robert Villa’s sacrifice fly to left scored Braxton Ashcraft.
The Rockets needed three runs in the bottom of the fifth to keep the game going. But Jasper starting pitcher Michael Soisson kept Robinson scoreless to end the game.
The Bulldogs, who hadn’t lost in the playoffs before Robinson took the second game of the regional semifinal series, advances to the regional final to play the winner of the Salado vs. Hargrave series.
In doing so, Jasper stopped Robinson short of the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
Robinson 9, Jasper 5, Game 2
Robinson jumped ahead of Jasper in the first inning of Game 2 and went on to a 9-5 victory to force the deciding game.
The Rockets scored three runs in the top of the first as leadoff hitter Jordan Rogers reached base on an error, then Mason Cooper was hit by a pitch. That set up three-hole hitter Peyton Powell, who doubled down the first-base line to score Rogers and Cooper. Powell later scored when Chris Morrow hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out of the inning.
Robinson plated two more runs in the top of the second. Jace Walker hit a one-out double in the gap in left-center field. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Cooper. Powell then drove in a run for the second consecutive inning as his single to right brought Rogers home.
Rogers made the most of the run support as he worked six innings for the win. He gave up three runs, two of them earned, while striking out five and walking three.
Rogers also doubled and scored in the top of the six when Robinson added three insurance runs.