By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
WAXAHACHIE — The Bryan Vikings entered a 6A bi-district series against Waxahachie having lost just thrice all season.
They were also the 14th-ranked team in the class and the champions of District 12-6A. Waxahachie, meanwhile, clinched a playoff spot in the final week of the regular season and then dropped a seeding game against Mansfield.
The fourth-seeded Indians of District 11-6A promptly swept — in no-hit and shutout fashion — (24-5) Bryan, snapping the Vikings’ 12-game win streak. Bryan had not previously been shut out and held to three-or-fewer runs just five times before running into the Waxahachie buzzsaw.
Jared Thomas (4-2, 1.88 ERA) will steal the headlines following his second-consecutive no-hitter. He fanned 10 Vikings and walked four over his seven no-hit innings in game one on Friday.
The outing came after he struck out 17 during a no-hitter against DeSoto on Tuesday, April 26. He has now allowed just 10 hits in nine outings over 37.1IP.
The senior then recorded a one-out save Saturday at Paul Richards Park to secure a 2-0 victory and 6A area round berth for the Indian.
The save was his first on the season. It also extended his consecutive no-hit innings to 21.2 IP, dating back to a second-inning double allowed to Mansfield on Friday, April 15.
And while it will be Thomas’ feats that will be most discussed, make no mistake about it — the series sweep of the state-ranked Bryan Vikings was a true team effort. It’s the kind of effort that keeps the momentum rolling for a team that has gotten hot at precisely the right time.
Kash Thorne (3-3, 1.85 ERA) spun 6.2 innings of a gem in game two. The junior struck out five, walked four and scattered 6 hits. He was pulled with two on and after throwing 118 pitches.
Thorne later lept from his Jeep to run across the HEB parking lot and catch a woman’s fleeting balloon. He left her with a “Have a blessed day,” but we digress. That’s a true, although irrelevant, story, so let’s get back to baseball.
Nash Nichols made quite the highlight-reel snag at second base in support of Thorne and helped keep the Vikings off the board on Saturday afternoon.
Caleb Perry drove in four runs on the weekend and Jacob Cruz had two. Lucas Ferguson and Nichols turned three double plays in game one, while Jaxson Crow recorded 14 stellar innings defensively behind the plate.
All of that to say — this group has turned a corner. And they have every ingredient to play as long as they’d like, including Old Lady Mo’ in their corner.
Waxahachie will now face (15-15-1) Tyler Legacy in the 6A Region II area round. The Raiders rallied to defeat (16-16-1) Wylie in games two and three on Saturday.
Game one between Waxahachie and Tyler Legacy will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Richards Park. Game two is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday at Mike Carter Field in Tyler, with game three to follow, if needed.
All photos by Kirk Holt/KBEC Sports
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith