Friendswood takes out Angleton to advance

FRIENDSWOOD — Friendswood got strong pitching and just enough offense to defeat the Angleton Wildcats 4-1 and 2-1 to sweep the best-of-three series and advance to the next round of the playoffs.

In the first game, Friendswood took advantage of an error and a couple of wild throws to score three unearned runs for a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Friendswood's Drew Barba reached first base thanks to an infield error. Ryan Bertelsman stroked a single putting runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt by Carson Kaufman moved the runners up in scoring position with one out.

Angleton pitcher Jason Peltier struck out Ryan Dupuis, but the third strike got past the catcher and Barba scored the first run leaving Bertlsman at third and courtesy runner Brandon Augustine at first.

A wild pitch by Peltier allowed Bertlsman to score from third while Augustine moved to second.

An infield grounder by Bryan Fowler became the second out putting Augustine at third.

Peltier fanned Jacob Gwynne, but the third strike got past the catcher allowing Augustine to score giving Friendswood the 3-0 lead. A ground out ended the inning for the Mustangs.

The Wildcats scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the margin to 3-1.

Friendswood starter Ryan Shetter closed out the Wildcats the rest of the way to pick up the win. Shetter limited Angleton to only four hits and one run while allowing one walk and striking out six.

The Mustangs added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Lael Lockhart singled and scored on a double by Drew Barba making the final score 4-1.

Top hitter was Bertlsman who went 2-for-4 with one run scored. Lockhart was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Barba was 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Friendswood 2 - Angleton 1

Most coaches will agree that getting a win, ugly or pretty, is a win. Friendswood head coach Charlie Taylor was glad to get the 2-1 win over Angleton regardless of how he got it to sweep the Wildcats in the best-of-three series.

Friendswood took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Ryan Bertlsman singled, stole second, and scored on a double by Ryan Dupuis.

Meanwhile, Friendswood pitcher Lael Lockhart was tossing a great game on the mound.

Angleton was down to the sixth inning when they finally scored a run to knot up the game 1-1.

The game ended in regulation tied sending the contest to an extra inning.

Angleton threatended in the top of the eighth placing two runners on first and second with one out. Taylor opted to take Lockhart for Garret Cragin who stepped in relief by getting a strikeout and a fly ball to retire the side.

Walker Williams opened up the bottom of the eighth with a walk. Drew Barba sacrificed Williams to second. Bertlsman was intentionally walked and Cragin singled to load the bases with one out.

Dupuis struck out for the second out and it appeared that the Wildcats had a great chance of getting out of the inning.

Jacob Gwynne stepped up at the plate with a chance to be the hero of the game. The junior third baseman battled the Angleton pitcher Travis Murphy to a full-count with two outs and the bases loaded.

With the count at 2-2, Gwynne fouled off two pitches, took a pitch for a ball, and then fowled off two more pitches.

Murphy fired a high pitched which should have been a ball to walk in the winning run, but Gwynne couldn't take a chance so he hit a high fly ball to centerfield. It appeared that the ball would be caught and the game would continue, but the unthinkable happened as the Angleton centerfielder misjudged the ball and dropped the final out that sent the winning run across the plate.

"Gwynne really did a great job of staying in there," Taylor said. "After getting down in the count, he fought off several pitches. He probably should have let that last one go for the walk, but it worked out, I guess."

Friendswood managed only six hits in the game as Bertlesman was 1-for-3 with one run scored, and Williams was 1-for-3 with another run scored.

Lockhart went 7 1/3 innings allowing only one run on five hits and five strikeouts while Cragin stepped in relief allowing no runs and no hits with one strikeout. Cragin picked up the win in relief.