From Staff Reports
The Athens Review
The Athens Hornets lost their final three games of the regular season but pulled out the District 15-3A title following a 1-0 loss to Brownsboro Friday night.
Bears’ pitcher Raul Gutierrez was not deterred by a lack of offense as he picked up the win on senior night.
Gutierrez pitched a complete game four hitter with nine strikeouts and four walks.
Gutierrez also pushed ahead the Bears winning run in the sixth inning, after reaching on a single and scoring on an error by Athens.
Travis Takata and Adam Stallings recorded the only hits in the game. for the Hornets.
Garrett Conley started the game for the Hornets giving up seven hits in four innings of work. He walked three and struck out three in the game.
Takata came on in relief in the final two innings. He gave up three hits and struck out two batters.
Coach Dallas Robertson said in their opening warmup game against the Rusk Eagles Monday night, the Hornets won 8-3.
In that game, the Hornets trailed, 1-0, heading into the top of the third inning before the offense exploded scoring six runs.
The Hornets were able to score two more runs in the top of the fifth to secure the win and put the game out of reach.
Morgan Gimler picked up the win on the mound as he pitched 5 2/3 innings of eight hit baseball with three walks and two strikeouts.
He allowed all three runs with only one of them being earned.
Kaleb Sifers and Stallings each went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored respectively.
Stallings and Jesse Taylor also had doubles for the Hornets in the win.
The Hornets have one more warmup game Friday night against Hughes Springs at Van.
First pitch for that game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
The Hornets reached the postseason winning eight straight games prior to the losing streak.
Athens lost to Mabank 3-2 in Athens, 4-2 to Mineola on the road and 1-0 to Brownsboro in their final game of the year.
“We are needing to see some good pitching and hopefully get the bats swinging this week,” Robertson said.
AHS (17-13) will face the winner of the Crandall-North Lamar series in the area round of the playoffs next weekend.
The Hornets did not have to face a tiebreaker situation as Mabank pulled out a 3-2 victory on second place Mineola at home.
Mabank scored the game winner in the seventh without recording a hit in the inning.
The Panthers finished in a three-way tie for third with Van and Canton.
Mabank finished the year at 11-16 overall.
The Vandals earned the final playoff berth by way of sporting the best record against the three teams locked at 5-5.
Mabank won the game in the seventh after a lead-off walk, with the runner advancing to third on an errant pick-off throw.
The game ended after a dropped strike out forced the catcher into a throw, which sailed into right field.
Mabank reliever Cody Thompson picked up the win in that game. Stephen Caillet started the game and picked up the no decision.