UIL baseball regional finals: Argyle, Gunter, Jacksboro secure game 1 wins, more from area

The UIL high school baseball regional finals are underway, and several North Texas teams are competing for state championship births. Here is a roundup of high profile games from the Fort Worth-area.

Argyle edges Grapevine in game 1 pitcher’s duel

It was a pressure packed pitcher’s duel between Argyle’s Alex D’Angelo and Grapevine’s Luke Schreyer in Game 1 of the Class 5A Region I final series on Thursday.

D’Angelo just happened to be a touch better on this night, however, as the Eagles pushed across a single run in the top of the fifth inning and made it stand up in a 1-0 win over the Mustangs at Hurst L.D. Bell High School.

Game 2 of the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, back at L.D. Bell.

“That’s a game we had to have,” said Argyle coach Ricky Griffin, who is trying to take the Eagles to the state tournament for the third season in a row. “They threw their number three pitcher and we threw our number one so that was a have to win for us. It was a huge win because of that and we now have to figure out how to beat them once in two games to get back to Round Rock.”

D’Angelo threw seven innings allowing two hits, one walk, and one hit batter while striking out eight.

The senior said that he “had pretty much everything working tonight” and that his previous playoff experience was crucial in his ability to handle the pressure.

“Playing in two state championships the past two years has really helped me calm my nerves,” said D’Angelo, who’s headed to Weatherford College in the fall. “I just have so much faith in my defense as well.

“I don’t have to be so perfect where I’m having to paint the corners. I’m just going in there filling it up and doing my best.”

Argyle (29-7-2) was the state runners up the past two seasons and has been to six state tournaments since 2014.

Schreyer was almost as good for Grapevine (36-5) allowing one earned run over seven innings scattering six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

Brody McConnico lead off the top of the fifth with a single up the middle for the Eagles and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Ian Burrows. With two out, Colton Roquemore lined a single to left to drive in McConnico who just made it home on a close play at the plate.

The relay throw looked to be on time, but bounced away from Grapevine catcher Gianni Corral.

“That was a really good high school baseball game,” said Grapevine coach Jimmy Webster, who disagrees that Schreyer is his team’s number three pitcher. “Luke might be our number one. He was 10-1 coming into the game, but we do have three guys that can go a little bit.”

Webster felt that while D’Angelo did “pitch his tail off” he thought his team made it fairly easy on him by not making him work a little harder. He thought D’Angelo only had to throw somewhere around 80 pitches in the game.

“The biggest thing is that we’re going to wake up tomorrow and we’re going to come back and battle our tails off,” said Webster. “D’Angelo’s not going to be starting tomorrow so we’re going to have to get after whoever is. We just have to be more competitive at the plate.”

Gunter takes game 1 against Boyd in regional final rematch

Gunter (36-1) starting pitcher Jarrett Waggoner was dominant on the mound, leading the Tigers to a 3-1 win over Boyd (35-5-1) in game one of the Class 3A Region II finals at Riders Field on Thursday.

It’s a matchup familiar to both teams, who faced each other last season in the Regional Finals. Last year, Boyd took a 1-0 lead in the series, won it and went on to become state champions.

This year, Gunter secured a game one win against the defending champs. Waggoner through a complete game, giving up just one run.

“I couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Gunter head coach Daryl Hellman. “He was just locked in.”

Rain came through the area earlier in the day, but Waggoner wasn’t phased by any unfavorable conditions on the mound.

“I felt very comfortable,” he said. “Our home mound is a dirt mound, but most teams have a turf mound, so it felt good to be back on dirt.”

Hellman said all three starters on the team work similarly.

“They may have an inning or two where things get away from them, but they always seem to bounce back,” he said.

That’s exactly what happened in game one. Boyd started the offense off early with a single from Braden McIntire, who later scored on a double from Eric Rogers.

That’s all the Yellowjackets would get. Waggoner got a pop up and a strikeout to end the inning.

“That first inning got me even more excited,” he said. “After that, I felt I was on from the second inning on.”

Gunter was quick to respond. Leadoff hitter Brock Boddie reached first, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then stole third. After a walk and a strikeout, Carter Layton had runners on the corners with one out.

He lined a single into right field, scoring Boddie.

Boyd’s starter Elijah Webber escaped the inning with a pair of strikeouts.

The Tigers retook the lead with an RBI-single from Cade Dodson in the second off of Boyd reliever Evan Salinas. They added insurance in the third after executing “small ball” to perfection.

Walker Overman singled and moved to second on Jordan Villagrana’s sacrifice bunt. Waggoner moved Overman to third, where he scored from on a two-out single by Brooks Griggs-Bell.

“They competed at the plate and made those walks hurt. They executed small ball then got big hits with men on base,” said Boyd head coach Brad McIntire.

Offense quieted after that. Salinas threw some scoreless innings before Hayden Miller came in and shut down Gunter in the sixth.

“They did a good job,” said McIntire. “They attacked more and gave us a shot late.”

Despite Boyd’s one-out single, Waggoner didn’t allow the Yellowjackets any hope. He got a fielder’s choice and a fly out to end the game.

Waggoner was helped out all night by his defense, specifically second baseman Boddie. He caught pop ups in the infield, short right field, foul territory and even made a bare-handed play in the seventh.

“Brock [Boddie] is a utility player for us,” said Hellman. “He was born to be an infielder and he’s been impressive in this playoff run.”

Despite the outcome, both teams know there is still work to do.

“We haven’t done anything yet,” said Hellman. “They’re going to be ready tomorrow, so we’ve got to match that energy.”

“We didn’t play our style of baseball today… but it’s a series,” said McIntire. “All that matters is who wins two games, so we’re going to show up tomorrow and give them our best.”

Game two will be Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Riders Field.

Brock drops game one to Jacksboro

Brock (32-3) entered the Class 3A regional finals with a 19 game win streak.

The Eagles, however, couldn’t carry the momentum in game one of the Class 3A regional finals on Thursday at Steer Field. Jacksboro (31-8-1) tallied five hits to Brocks’ nine en route to a 5-1 victory; timely hits with runners in scoring position, patience at the plate and defensive mistakes powered the Tigers to victory.

First pitch for game two is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Steer Field.

Jacksboro starting pitcher Kasey Swan kept Brock’s offense at bay, allowing one earned run and striking out nine batters in six 1/3 innings. He made big pitches in key situations, holding Brock to a sole run despite the nine hits.

Center fielder Sawyer Strosnider was the focal point of Brock’s offense. He tallied three hits and also scored Brock’s run. Two of his three hits were for extra bases.

Brock’s Jake Windle, a first baseman, also had a solid game at the plate, tallying two hits in three at bats.