The West Trojans came so close to winning the state championship back in 2012 when they fell to the Pleasant Grove Hawks in the 3A state championship game. However, the wait for another chance only took a few years as the Trojans were back in the same position against the Bishop Badgers. Both teams were highly ranked entering the season, as each squad had fought tooth and nail to get to this point. State championships games are always great when they are close, and we got another gem here as the Trojans got the timely hitting, excellent pitching, and game-winning defensive plays to secure their 2nd ever state championship.
The offenses got going early on for both of these teams. The Badgers opened the game hot, scoring 2 runs in the top half of the first inning. Kobrey Garcia began the game with a lead-off full-count walk. Aaron Cardona backed that up with a double that bounced into the left field seats. Garcia scored on the play, and the Badgers were up 1-0. After a sacrifice bunt by Austin Munoz, Nick Colecio singled up the middle to give the Badgers a 2-0 lead heading to the bottom half of the first.
The Trojans did not use up all of their offense in the semifinal win over Littlefield, as 3 big runs crossed the plate. Tristan Gonzalez opened up the frame with a single to third base. Griffin Paxton proceeded to one-hop the wall in center field, scoring Gonzalez while putting himself at third base. Macik put a 1-2 pitch in the outfield, tying up the game at 2 a piece. Later in the inning, it appeared that Bishop was going to get out of trouble without any further damage. JR Rozyskie had just struck out on a low pitch, but on the throw down to first the ball hit him in the back, allowing Horn to score on the play.
For the rest of the game, both teams settled down, as only 2 combined runs were scored throughout the final 6 innings of play. Bishop threatened in the top of the 2nd with singles by Horne and Garcia, but they were left stranded. West also picked up a single in the 2nd, but were also left scoreless as we headed to the third inning.
Macik really settled down at this point, with a quick 1-2-3 inning with three ground outs. The Trojans had a golden opportunity to add insurance on in the bottom of the third. They did just that as Macik walked to begin the inning and later scored on a single by Horn to center field. In the 4th, Macik looked strong, striking out two Badger batters.
Koch walked to give West another leadoff batter in the bottom of the 4th, but managed to retire the next 3 batters to escape unscathed. Bishop remained quiet with the bats in the 5th, going down in order for the 2nd time in the contest. For West, it was another inning where more runs were left on the bases. Macik singled to shortstop to begin the frame, followed by Horn reaching on an error to give West 2 on with nobody out. However, trying to advance to 3rd, courtesy runner Cole Simmons was thrown out trying to take 3rd base. That proved to be costly as Wiethorn would single up the middle to load the bases, but the Badgers locked down on defense to get out of it.
Macik and the Trojans defense continued to suffocate the Badgers in the 6th, with a groundout and a pair of strikeouts to retire the side. West once again was poised to score, with Koch and Schilling walking to leadoff the bottom of the 6th, but 3 straight outs got the Badgers out of trouble.
Things normally get interesting in the 7th in contests of this magnitude. That was exactly what we had here as the two traditional powers provided us with a thrilling finish. It seemed as if the Trojans were going to breeze through the inning, recording the first two outs rather quickly. With Horner up to the plate and the season on the line, a single up the middle gave the Badgers some life. Trevino then stepped up and drilled a full count pitch to the wall.
Horner scored on the play, but Trevino, which was trying to extend a double in to a triple, was thrown out as he slid slightly past the bag. The dramatic out ended the game and gave the West Trojans a 4-3 state championship win.
This marks the 2nd championship for West, as the Trojans claimed the 1999 3A state championship with a 9-7 win over Liberty. Preston Macik was named the state tournament MVP for his pitching performance in the game.
TxHighSchoolBaseball.com would like to congratulate Littlefield and Edgewood on their state tournament appearances, Bishop on their state runner-up finish, and the West Trojans on their 2015 3A state championship.
Tags: State Tournament