FORT WORTH — Everything Guyer needed to keep hopes of an upset alive happened in Thursday night’s playoff game against Cleburne.
When the Wildcats stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning, Guyer was a few swings away from knocking off the No. 2 team in Class 4A in the Region I area round of the baseball playoffs.
Guyer’s first two runners got on base with no outs, putting the pressure on Cleburne pitcher Dylan Schneider for the first time in the ballgame. When the Wildcats retreated to their dugout, Guyer’s run total had not changed.
The Wildcats were unable to plate a run against Schneider and the Yellow Jackets in a 2-0 loss at Fort Worth Arlington Heights’ Thomas Ray Elliott Field in the one-game playoff series. Cleburne’s two second-inning runs were enough to eliminate the Wildcats (16-19) from the playoffs for the second straight season.
“That’s what a good team does and that’s what allows you to win baseball games,” Guyer head coach Johnny Kinzy said. “Give their team credit. Give Schneider credit. We couldn’t get it going and when we did, we had some things happen that went against us.”
Coming into the contest, Schneider boasted a 9-1 record and a 0.62 ERA. The best chance the Wildcats had against the junior came in the sixth inning.
After Guyer’s Tristan Brown and Connor Herriage reached base, Guyer senior center fielder Brandon Hendricks tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second base and third base. But the ball made contact with Hendricks out of the batter’s box and he was called out.
Kinzy jogged down the line to talk to the home plate umpire about the call before returning to his spot behind third base. Schneider picked up the next two outs to get out of the inning.
Cleburne head coach Ross Taylor said Schneider is 27-1 now in his high school career after he struck out 10 batters and allowed four hits in the complete-game victory.
“I really thought he was in trouble in one inning and he worked his way out of it with the meat of their order up,” Taylor said. “That was a big, big inning. He’s been huge for us all year long and all last year. He just knows how to pitch. The guy has nerves of steel.”
Cleburne freshman Spencer Suitt went 3-for-3 with a single, double and a triple to lead the Yellow Jackets (26-3-1).
Pitcher Daulton Horton scattered eight hits in the contest and kept the Wildcats in the contest after he left runners stranded on second and third base to get Guyer out of the sixth inning, something he did throughout his complete-game performance. But it didn’t stop Horton from picking up his only loss of the season.
Horton is one of 11 Guyer seniors who played their final game, and while he said the Wildcats weren’t able to execute and advance, he was proud of the way he and his teammates went out.
“I played with a bunch of these guys before high school,” Horton said. “They all work hard. They’re great guys. We’re all going to do great things in life. I’m honored to play with guys like that. I wouldn’t wish for anything else.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.
Cleburne 2, Guyer 0
WP — Dylan Schneider (10-1). LP — Daulton Horton (9-1). 2B — C: Spencer Suitt. 3B — C: Suitt. Records — C: Cleburne (26-3-1), Guyer (16-19).