Aledo denies East state championship (w/videos)
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ROUND ROCK - Victoria East players and coaches left Dell Diamond with medals around their necks.
But the Titans would have preferred a different color medallion.
East's hopes for its first state championship disappeared in a 4-0 Class 4A state final loss to Aledo on Friday before an announced crowd of 4,296.
"We've learned a lot from the playoffs," said senior first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. "We didn't stop fighting. We have a great team. I'm going to miss this team, but we couldn't get it done tonight."
The Titans end the season at 30-10 after being shut out for the first time since their District 30-4A loss to Calallen.
Aledo (34-6-2) starter Reid "Taco" Anderson - the championship game MVP - limited East to three hits and two of them didn't leave the infield.
Anderson walked only one batter and struck out four. He didn't allow a hit after the third inning.
"He had control of three pitches and he was spotting it up well," said East coach Wes Kolle. "They had a dang good scouting report. They were positioned defensively real well. We were hitting it right at them. The hits we did get - there were some seeing-eye singles and stuff. There were chances to get into the game and it just didn't work out for us."
East pitchers Mike Garcia, Zac Leigh and Gonzalez yielded a combined eight hits, but hurt themselves by issuing six walks and hitting a batter.
The Titans also committed three errors and had two passed balls. Every run scored by the Bearcats was unearned.
"We weren't as clean as we needed to be today," Kolle said. "It's nothing we can do about it. We've talked about it for a while now, you can't give up extra bases - walks and errors - and they usually come back to bite you and it did tonight."
East had a potential first-inning rally killed when Jonathan Ortega reached on an infield single and stole second only to be sent back to first when Mason Tipton was called out by the home plate umpire for batter's interference.
The Titans had runners on second and third in the third inning after Trevor Brown singled, Trent Whitley sacrificed, Ortega reached on a fielder's choice and the runners moved up on Aledo's only error.
But Tim Gleinser grounded to shortstop, and Tipton fouled out to the catcher to end the threat.
"The game of baseball is played weird," Ortega said. "Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't."
Aledo became the first school to win state championships in football, softball and baseball in the same school year. Aledo is the third to win baseball and softball in the same season. Shiner and Weimar have also won state titles in baseball and softball in the same season.
East was trying to become the first Victoria team to win a state baseball championship since Stroman won the Class 5A title in 1985.
The Titans came up short, but became the first team from their school to play in a state final.
"It is what it is," Kolle said. "We weren't the best team tonight. We didn't get it done tonight. But boy what a ride - I have nothing negative to say about this team. This team has overcome so much adversity and I'm so proud of them."
Class 4A Final
Aledo 4, Victoria East 0
Aledo 110 002 0 - 4 8 1
East 000 000 0 - 0 3 3
Taco Anderson and Zayne Williams. Mike Garcia, Zac Leigh (4), Adrian Gonzalez (6) and Mason Tipton. W: Anderson (9-2). L: Garcia (6-2). Highlights: (A) Anderson 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO; Williams 2 for 4, 3 RBIs; Garrett Uhl 2 for 3, R. (E) Trevor Brown 1 for 2. Records: Aledo 34-6-2; East 30-10.