Harleton, Carthage March On To State - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Harleton, Carthage March On To State

Both East Texas baseball teams still playing in Austin had successful semifinal rounds Wednesday, setting up a pair of state championship games on Thursday.

Harleton slipped past Valley Mills 7-6 in eleven innings in the UIL 1A baseball tournament semifinals. Clay Oney laid down a bunt single with the bases loaded and pinch-runner Jacob Eberhart scored from third base to lead Harleton to victory.

Ross Hollon led off the bottom of the eleventh with a double to left field, and Harleton coaches inserted Eberhart as a courtesy runner at second base. A sacrifice bunt moved Eberhart to third, then Valley Mills starter Landon Winn intentionally walked the next two hitters to load the bases.

Winn (8-2) couldn't field Oney's bunt in time to force out Eberhart at home. The final sequence concluded an improbable victory for top-seeded Harleton (31-2) after the Wildcats committed five errors and came within an out of elimination. Hollon (9-2) pitched two innings of relief for the win.

The Carthage Bulldogs are going to the state championship for the third time since 1990. Carthage's Clayton McMillan (12-1) frustrated Bridge City (35-7) with his high leg kick and a fastball that approached 90 miles an hour.

McMillan, who had six strikeouts, carried a shutout into the final inning. Bridge City's Kevin Angelle (12-2) pitched a complete game as well, striking out nine and allowing five hits. Mark McLaughlin bounced a hit off the artificial turf and over the shortstop with the bases loaded and no outs to give Carthage a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Angelle avoided further damage by getting the next three hitters, but Carthage was back at it in the fifth.

Jeremy Hogan had a two-run single, and he scored on Kory Cleveland's triple. Bridge City scored twice in the seventh inning when Darrel Stevens drove in Derrick Coleman on a triple and scored when Kirk Vincent reached on an error.

Reid Kerr (rkerr@kltv.com) reporting.

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