By David Jenkins
ARGYLE – Princeton went all in against Sanger with a one game Class 4A Region II area contest.
The Indians got just enough on the offense side for a 2-1 win.
Panther three-year starter Brandon Talley tossed a complete-game five-hitter and struck out seven to close out the season.
“Every time he is on the mound it gives us a chance to win. He slows down the running game and stays around the strike zone, and doesn’t give up many free outs,” head coach Russell Bowker said. “The defense played well behind him and he keeps you on your toes because he throws so many strikes. He is not going to walk too many batters, hit many and their not going to hit them around the park. He is one of the greatest kids that I have ever coached. Not only is he a great player, but he is also a great leader. He leads by example every day.”
Sanger got on the board first in the bottom half of first inning with a pair of runs.
The Indians totaled two hits, with Wilding Smith driving in Julien Ly, who was the starting pitcher.
The home team switched things up in the fourth frame, bringing in Casey Sykes for 2 1/3 innings.
With no outs in the top of the sixth, Princeton’s Nathan Roets doubled and moved to third on a fly out.
The next two batters flew out and struck out.
With two outs on the board, Colt Collins delivered a run-scoring single to bring home Roets.
“Our philosophy the entire season has been to give ourselves an opportunity to win,” Bowker said. “We weren’t quite able to do that, but we sure did go all in.”
Sanger’s Anthony Escabedo started off the final frame with a pair of outs.
With the help of some quality defense, Talley got out a jam in the bottom of the sixth with a fly out.
Down to the games final out, Indian second baseman Chance Cockrell ranged out to make the game-winning diving catch near the Panther dug out.
Princeton ended the year 9-9 overall and third in District 12-4A at 5-5.
“I thought we got better as the year went on. Our number one goal was to the make the playoffs, the next was to win a playoff game and we obviously did that,” Bowker said.
The Panthers clinched the bi-district title with 10-0 (run-rule) and 3-2 wins over Pinkston at Mesquite’s J.J. Tillery Field.