BEAUMONT — Needing to stay alive in the Region III Class 4A Semifinals the Carthage Bulldogs got one of their best pitching performances of the season in Jackson Blissett’s two-hit shutout win over the Sweeny Bulldogs, 1-0, Saturday afternoon
Unfortunately a couple hours later they couldn’t get the final three outs against those same Bulldogs.
Sweeny scored four times in the bottom of the seventh against four different Carthage pitchers to finish off the semifinal series with a 6-5 win at Lamar’s Vincent-Bent Stadium.
Sweeny (28-8) will meet Waco Robinson in the regional finals this week to determine who goes to Austin for the state tournament. The Carthage Bulldogs finish the season at 27-7-1.
Sweeny won Game 1 on Thursday, 9-4.
I’ve never seen anything like that,” Carthage coach John Goodwin said after the games. We played good, clean baseball for 13 innings and then went out of control and couldn’t get the last three outs.
“They were really broken up after that. To lay it on the line like that and then come up short just kills you. They’ll probably move on quicker than me, but that was tough on everybody. We should still be playing baseball.”
Carthage appeared to have things well in hand entering the seventh as Mackenson Bobo tripled and Mason Bobo singled him in to increase the lead to 5-2 in Game 3.
But things slowly changed as everything went right for Sweeny.
Tucker Smith, who had come on in relief of Nathan Bailey in the fifth, gave up an infield single.
What would follow would be crushing for the Dawgs,
Cord Filipp walked and Joe Effenbruger singled to left to load the bases with no outs.
That brought Mackenson Bobo in and he hit Caden Homnoik to bring in a run and make it a 5-3 game.
Wes Folse walked to bring in a fourth run and keep the bases loaded at 5-4.
Brian McNeely walked Quinton Martin to tie the game at 5-5.
Javarian Roquemore came on and got a fly ball to right for the first out of the inning.
But he came back with a wild pitch, allowing Homniok to score the winning run and the Sweeny Bulldogs advance to play Waco Robinson in the Regional Finals.
The Bulldogs did leave more than 10 runners on base in the contest.
Mackenson Bobo was 2 for 3, Dylan Leach was 2x4, Tucker Smith was 2 for 4 and Brandon McNeely was 1 for 3 to lead the Bulldogs at the plate.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Goodwin said. “I’m not happy to have had it end the way it did, but we won 27 games and made it to the fourth round of the playoffs.
“They did a great job, but sometimes it’s a little hard to grasp it after such a tough loss.”
In Game 2, Blissett walked six and struck out 12 in the two-hitter.
“He competed,” Goodwin said. “There’s no other way to say it. But he competed. He didn’t give them anything and struck out 12. He never allowed them to do anything which says a lot considering it was just his fourth start and fifth appearance of the season. He showed what kind of competitor he can be on the mound.”
Carthage picked up the only run in the fifth as Mason Bobo singled with one out, stole second and scored on a single to left by Gunner Capps.
Baylor Colle was 2 for 2 at the plate to lead the Bulldogs, while Dylan Leach and Capps were both 2 for 3.