DENTON – The Bridgeport Bulls did everything it took to win their Class 3A Region II area baseball playoff series versus Princeton.
But in the end they fell just short.
The No. 10 state-ranked Bulls were unable to hold on to multiple leads, falling 10-9 and 7-6 as both games went to extra innings.
In the May 10 opener, they found themselves down 2-1 after two innings.
But the Bridgeport bats woke up, producing six runs in the third frame.
Princeton answered with two runs in the bottom half, and retook took the lead at 8-7 with a four-run burst.
The squads traded runs in the sixth and seventh innings, as the Bulls came up just short.
Bridgeport finished with nine hits and committed five errors.
Top hitters were Erik Delgadillo with three RBI and a double, Alex Samples with a home run and a pair of run-scoring hits, and Dillon Waldrep and Jake Hulsey who each had an RBI.
The pitching duo of Omar Martinez and Samples gave up 11 hits. Samples took the loss in relief, and Martinez struck out four as the starter.
The teams returned to Denton the following day for the second game of the best-of-three series.
The Bulls found themselves in a 4-0 hole after an inning-and-a-half, but they responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second.
Bridgeport looked likely to tack on another run, but Brandon Huff was tagged out before he could reach home on an attempted steal.
The Bulls narrowed the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the third, after Martinez tripled to centerfield, bringing home Samples.
Martinez held the Princeton offense in check over the next five innings.
Bridgeport tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth.
Reese Read led off with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a Martinez double to left field.
Both squads were unable to put up any more runs, sending the game into extra innings.
Princeton regained the lead on a Carlos Contreras single just out of reach of the diving shortstop.
Bridgeport responded with a run of their own in the bottom half.
Hulsey was hit by a pitch, moved over to second on a Samples hit by pitch and crossed the plate on a Dalton Hudson single.
Martinez came on in relief at the start of the inning and managed to work out of a bases-loaded jam, including striking out the last batter.
Princeton took a 6-5 advantage in the top of the 11th, but Bridgeport responded with a run in the bottom of the frame.
Martinez drove in Read with a single, and the Bulls looked to retake the lead. But the runner at third was called out at home.
Princeton scored the game-winning run in the top of the next inning.
Delgadillo and Samples got on base to start the bottom half, but Princeton reliever Riley Lowrance worked out of the jam, and Dathan Seymour came up with the series-clinching catch in right field.
Leading Bridgeport’s 12-hit barrage were Martinez, with a double, a triple and two RBI; Hulsey, who had a pair of run-scoring hits; and Hudson, who notched an RBI.
Read, Martinez and Samples combined to give up 15 hits. Samples took the loss as Read struck out seven.
Note: Rankings are from the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association 3A Top 10.