2019 will go down in history for the LaPoynor Flyers’ baseball team as one for the ages.
Even though their season ended in an extra-inning heartbreaker in Game 3 of the regional final against Wells, 6-5, this team was the ultimate underdog story.
Trey Rogers just finished his first season as a high school coach, the Flyers never won a single playoff game and were never ranked in the state.
LaPoynor (16-8-1) went 5-2 this postseason, along with winning the first four games, was ranked No. 4 going into the regional final and came one out away from advancing to the state tournament in Round Rock.
The Flyers were led on the mound by the pitching duo of Dawson Fortner and Kase Johnston.
If this does not have the makings of a team overcoming so much odds, I don’t know what does.
After winning their district, LaPoynor enjoyed a first-round bye in the bi-district round.
They traveled to Grand Saline for both their regional quarterfinal and semifinal series, where they swept the Sulphur Bluff Bears and the Union Hill Bulldogs.
They then advanced to the regional final to face off with the high-scoring Wells Pirates, with Game 1 in Jacksonville and Games 2 and 3 in Rusk.
The Pirates’ offense and pitching held the Flyers at bay in Game 1 for the 12-2 rout.
LaPoynor used their bats to back up a stellar start on the mound by Johnston in Game 2 en route to the 13-3 victory, forcing a winner-take-all Game 3.
Game 3 was a back-and-forth thriller in eight innings as the Flyers held onto the 5-4 lead with two outs.
However, the Pirates would tie it up on an error by Caden Young and would walk off for the 6-5 win after reliever Mason Grubbs hit Jakari Hadnot with a bases-loaded pitch, forcing in the winning run and wrapping up the Flyers’ historic season.
LaPoynor finished as district champs, regional quarterfinal champs, regional semifinal champs and regional finalists.
Even though there will be departing faces, LaPoynor will be looking for another magical run like this in 2020 as Rogers will be returning for his second season.
It was an honor to cover this team and I could not be more proud of watching these kids go this far with history not on their side.