Abrupt ending: Boyd blows series lead, falls to Bowie in bi-district

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, May 8, 2019
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Winner take all

WINNER TAKE ALL – Boyd starter Rustyn Ellis pitches during Game 3 of the 3A Region I bi-district series Saturday afternoon. Ellis gave up one run over two innings in the Yellowjackets’ 8-3 loss to Bowie. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

When Boyd’s season began in early February, the Yellowjackets’ new field was still under construction.

As a result, Boyd was forced to practice on a football field, and spent the first two months of the season on the road. By the time the Yellowjackets’ field opened April 5, Boyd had traveled more than 1,700 miles.

Their arduous journey came to an abrupt end Saturday night. After knocking off Bowie 13-7 in the opening game of the 3A Region I bi-district round, the Yellowjackets dropped the final two contests, including the decisive third game 8-3 on their home turf.

“I’m proud of them,” said Boyd coach Brad McIntire. “It ain’t the way we wanted it to end, but the fact is we didn’t have a field until April. It would have been easy just to give up at that point, but they stayed locked in and fought.”

Batter up

BATTER UP – Boyd’s Whitt Hill stands in and takes a pitch during Game 3 of the 3A Region I bi-district series with Bowie Saturday afternoon. The Yellowjackets fell to the Jackrabbits 8-3. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

The Yellowjackets committed a combined 10 errors in the final two games. Boyd had six errors in the third game that the Jackrabbits turned into key runs.

Bowie started the scoring in the first inning on an errant throw that sailed into center field.

Boyd took the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the first, but coughed up the advantage in the third.

The Jackrabbits scored four runs in the frame after loading the bases with one out.

“They had big, timely hits with two outs and two strikes that drove in runs,” McIntire said. “We made four errors [in Game 2] and six errors today. You can’t do that in the playoffs and expect to win a game.”

Later in the fifth, Rustyn Ellis and Brian Couture drew walks to put two on with two out, but Zeb Souder struck out to end the threat.

Couture was 1-for-2 with an RBI. Jaiylen McGilvery ended the night 2-for-4.

The Yellowjackets left eight runners on base and struck out eight times.

“The difference from Thursday night to Friday and Saturday was we had men on base and we had chances to open the game up, but we couldn’t get the big hit,” McIntire said. “We let them hang around and then they had their big inning and got separation.”

Ellis got the start for Boyd and gave up one run on four hits in two innings. Ethan Wilson entered in relief but was only able to get one out, surrendering four runs on three hits.

“I think it was more we were trying to force the issue instead of being relaxed and playing the game,” McIntire said. “I think a lot of it was self-inflicted mistakes. I give [Bowie] credit. They swung the bat, hit the ball, their pitchers threw strikes and they made plays behind them.”

McIntire ends his first season at the helm 19-10-1. Boyd finished third in the highly-competitive District 7-3A, including a win over state-ranked Brock.

The Yellowjackets will return 18 of their 21 players next season.

“We weren’t picked to make the playoffs. We went above and beyond,” McIntire said. “We won 19 games and knocked off Brock. We accomplished a lot. It’s something to build on. We’re trying to make this a special place.

“The future is good. We’re about to do something special here.”

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