Salado wins Region III
Frazier strikes out 11 in game 3 for Eagles
Without hesitation, Salado Coach Chad Krempin said, “I'm going with Casey.”
Following junior pitcher Casey Frazier's five-inning performance in game three against the Troy Trojans, it is no wonder.
Frazier will take the mound at the Dell Diamond on June 5 in the semi-final round of the University Interscholastic League (UIL) 2A State Baseball Tournament. He will face the winner of Bangs and Wall, which play tomorrow.
Frazier led Salado to a 10 run rule victory over Troy by striking out 10 batters and allowing just six Trojans to reach base. Through the first three innings, Frazier completely dominated the Troy batters, striking out nine of them. In the third, Zeb Criswell hit a single to right and moved to second on a two-out walk to Jake Shmidt. Runners were stranded when Frazier struck out his ninth batter of the evening looking.
“It feels good,” Frazier said of knowing he would pitch in the state tournament. Troy had trouble with Frazier's fast ball.
They also had trouble hitting his breaking ball and change ups.
“I have a lot of confidence in my defense,” Frazier said. Truth is, the Eagles defense did not see much action as Frazier continued to mow through the competition, throwing 59 strikes and 30 balls.
After giving up a single to Nathan Schleede in the bottom of the fourth and then walking Haden Mattke, Frazier hustled down a botched bunt attempt and caught the ball along the third base line to keep the runners in check. Criswell then connected with what looked like his second single of the evening but Eagles left fielder Davis Little ran under the ball for the final out.
Troy put runners at the corners in the fifth inning on a single by Jake Shmidt and a fielding error at first base. Schleede drove Frazier's fourth pitch deep into centerfield for the final out of the game by Caden Eary's glove.
Troy and Salado were a contrast in teams in this decisive third game.
The Eagles jumped out in the first inning, beginning with a rocket down the third base line by lead-off batter Trey Mohler. A walk to Franz and a single by Cole Haag loaded the bases. Marshall Mann hit, but Mohler was thrown out at home.
Frazier, coming off of throwing 11 pitches and three strikeouts in the first, knocked Zach Epperson's 3-1 pitch for a two-run double. Davis Little walked and Coby Giniewicz singled, knocking in Frazier. Bryce Martin walked to load the bases when Troy made the first of three pitching changes. Payton Stanford walked Caden Eary to push in Little and then he walked Mohler to push in Giniewicz. Troy brought in its third pitcher of the inning, Matt Ellis who proceeded to hit Jon Franz to drive in Martin.
Salado had the bases loaded with seven runs in the pocket and just one out, but Ellis was able to pitch his way out of trouble with a foul out and a strike out.
The Eagles scored three runs in the fourth inning on four singles. Haag led off with a single and stole second. Marshall Mann singled, and an error allowed him to reach second base and Haag to score from second. Davis Little hit a deep single, scoring Mann, reaching second on the throw. With two outs, Little scored on a single by Martin.
Jon Franz led off the seventh with a walk and advanced on a one-out single by Mann, who was 3-for-4 in game three. Frazier laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners before Franz scored on a wild pitch. Mann was left stranded on third.
The Eagles left seven runners on base in game three.
Salado Coach Chad Krempin said he was going to pitch by committee in the second game, and he did, throwing four pitchers at the Troy Trojans, while Troy used their Texas-signee Jon Malmin through 5-2/3 innings for a 7-5 win. For a while it looked as if the Trojans would walk their way into a blow out over Salado, as starting pitcher Jon Franz struggled to get batters out, walking five in two innings.
Franz loaded the bases by walking two and hitting a batter before striking out Payton Stanford. He then walked his fourth batter to give Troy a 1-0 lead. Daniel Wurster sacrificed to left to score Lewis and Schleede stole home when Franz tried to pick off the runner at first. Franz threw his second strike out to get out of the inning.
Salado added a run in the second. Coby Giniewicz doubled to left and after two walks loaded the bases, he scored on a ground out by Trey Mohler. Salado left two on base in the second.
The Eagles struggled to convert runners into runs, leaving 12 runners on base in the second game.
Troy scored four runs in the third inning, taking advantage of two more walks and three singles. Zeb Criswell hit a two-run single. He stole second and scored on a two-out single by Ryan Cox.
Trey Mohler singled in the fourth to drive in a run, before Malmin got out of the inning with runners at the corners and one out.
The Eagles scored three runs in the sixth inning. Mohler was hit by a pitch to get to first and Mann doubled to move him to third. Davis Little drove in Mohler and reached on an error by the third baseman. Coby Giniewicz grounded out to the second baseman, driving in Chase Basham, who had reached on a walk and made it to third on an error.
Caden Eary led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and stole two bases with one out before Nathan Schleede pitching in relief retired the final two batters with strike outs for the 7-5 win forcing game three.