Mize and Taylorsville faced off for the first time ever in a postseason baseball series on Thursday and Friday, with the winner earning the chance to compete for a 2A south state title. Though both games were highly competitive, the Tartars came away as victors on Thursday and Friday to sweep the series and advance in postseason play.
After falling at home 6-2 in the first game largely due to a five-run inning by the Tartars, the Bulldogs came out focused on preventing the type of offensive explosions Taylorsville has become known for having over the course of the season.
All went well with their plan until the third inning the Tartars—fueled by a rowdy, packed out home crowd—put up six runs to give themselves a comfortable lead. A Kason James double brought in two runs, two more scored on walks with bases loaded, and a single by Karson Evans allowed Kenner Todd to advance home from third base.
Unwilling to go down without a fight, the Bulldogs responded with a four-run frame of their own to cut into the Tartars’ lead. After three consecutive singles to start the inning, Mize scored four runs off of a walk, an error and a fielder’s choice, bringing the score to 7-4 heading into the final three innings of play.
The Tartars scored two insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings: one on a well-executed squeeze play by Ky Buckley, and another on a double by Walker Gable. Heading into the final inning, Taylorsville held a sizable 9-4 advantage.
Still unwilling to go down easily, the Bulldogs kept swinging. Senior slugger Clay Cook stepped to the plate for the final at-bat of his high school career and blasted a two-run, no-doubt home run over the left field wall.
Despite the big shot by Cook, relief pitcher Kenner Todd and the Tartars closed the deal with three outs in the top of the seventh to end the game and earn a 9-4 victory, punching their tickets to next week’s 2A South State Championship series.
Coach Dyess’ and the Bulldogs’ season came to an end after reaching the third round of postseason play with a 21-12 overall record and a Region 6-2A title, the first in the history of the program.
The Tartars will now transition from a series against one rival to a south state series against another. Taylorsville will be pitted against St. Joseph Catholic, who they fell to in three games during round three of the 2018 playoffs. The series is scheduled to begin on Thursday with a home game for the Tartars.