When the Bridgeport Bulls (23-5, 7-2) needed a big hit Thursday night, ninth-place hitter Erik Delgadillo came through.
Down one run in the fifth, Delgadillo connected on a game-winning, two-run double to give the Bulls the No. 1 seed in the District 9-3A tiebreaker game against Sanger (19-10, 6-3).
The Bulls held on for a 6-4 victory.
“He’s [Delgadillo] kind of struggled a little bit, but him coming through was huge, especially with the situation he was in,” Bridgeport coach Ted Leps said. “He kind of calmed himself down and didn’t move his head when he was hitting, and got a big hit for us that started that rally.”
Alex Samples capped off the comeback with an RBI single, plating Delgadillo and giving the Bulls the deciding margin.
Reese Read, who came on in relief of Omar Martinez in the fourth, shut the Indians down the rest of the way, not allowing a hit and striking out three in four innings of work.
“That’s part of our character,” Leps said about the comeback. “These kids aren’t going to give up, and that’s what we’ve tried to instill in them the last four years.
“They understand if there are still outs to be made, we are going to score some runs.”
The win secures a first-round bye, meaning they will avoid No. 4 Argyle early in the playoffs. Bridgeport will begin the postseason the weekend of May 10.
“It’s real big. We get to rest and take care of our arms,” Leps said. “Getting two weeks to prepare for whoever your opponent is – and getting to scout them – is going to be important.”
With the loss Sanger will face Frisco Lone Star in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
Bridgeport had a chance to break the game open in the first inning but squandered their opportunity. With two outs in the first, Read doubled to start a rally. Martinez singled Read home for the game’s first run.
Sanger starter Ross Scott walked the next two batters, loading the bases, but got a strikeout to end the inning. All the Bulls’ outs in the first were via strikeout.
“Early in the game we should have gotten some more runs,” Leps said. “We just had some kids that were trying too hard. We came back in the later innings and didn’t panic as hitters and were able to score those runs.”
The Indians rallied back to take a 4-1 lead after three innings with two-run singles by Connor Martin and Kyle Stephens.
Sanger’s pitching couldn’t keep them in it. They put eight Bulls on base either by walk or hit by pitch. The Bulls took advantage.
Goose Ritzel relieved Scott in the fourth, after Scott had hit two consecutive batters.
One out later, Read made the Indians pay with a double to right, plating two runs and cutting the Sanger lead to one.
Read got the win in relief. Ritzel took the loss for Sanger.