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Cuero bounces back to win bi-district series over Bellville

By MIKE FORMAN
May 3, 2014 at 12:03 a.m.


WEIMAR - Senior Levi Jones had no idea what his role would be if Cuero could force a Game 3 in its Class 3A bi-district series against Bellville.

But Jones found out when coach Phillip Schwarz talked to him before he stepped into the batter's box in the sixth inning of Game 2.

"At the end of Game 2, I was going to go up to bat, and coach Schwarz said, 'You want the ball?'" Jones recalled. "I said, 'Yes sir, give me the ball; I'm ready.'"

Jones and freshman D'Mond LaFond combined on a five-hit shutout to lead the Gobblers to a 2-0 win in the decisive game Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park Strickland Field.

Cuero bounced back from a 6-2 loss Thursday night in Game 1 and captured a 10-4 win in Game 2.

The Gobblers improved to 19-11 and advanced to the area round against Boerne.

"I knew it was hot," Jones said. "I didn't want to think about it. I'm a senior. I didn't want to lose, and I was focusing right on that mitt, changing my pitches up."

Jones yielded five hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out three before leaving after giving up a leadoff single in the sixth inning.

"I had kind of known all along that he was going to be our Game 3 starter," Schwarz said. "He's a kid who can throw three pitches for strikes. He's going to give you a good outing, and he's going to throw strikes. I had kind of penciled him in before the day started as our Game 3 starter."

The Brahmas (16-10) had the tying runners on second and third base in the sixth inning and first and third in the seventh, but LaFond worked out of trouble.

"I just came out and had to do my thing," said LaFond, who was the losing pitcher in Game 1. "You've just got to think about hitting the mitt and throwing strikes. On Thursday, I didn't have a great outing, so I just tried to come in and do as best I could today. Ever since I was young, I've always been in pressure situations. It's what I do best, I guess."

The Gobblers combined for 20 hits in Games 2 and 3. They spotted Bellville a 1-0 lead in Game 2 before scoring 10 consecutive runs.

Cuero was 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position in Game 2 before Case Farris hit a RBI single for the first of his three consecutive hits. Clint Davis also had three hits in Game 2 and two in Game 3.

"We needed that," Schwarz said. "We needed that because we've had trouble this year with runners in scoring position. That's what you're looking for is that one guy to break out and get a hit, and hopefully, it gets contagious, and everyone else follows."

Austin Johnson struggled with his control at times, but got the win by pitching five innings in Game 2.

"After Thursday night, we just talked about we weren't in bad shape," Schwarz said. "We still had our No. 1 pitcher. I think what we worried about the most is our district ended on Tuesday, and we hadn't played in a long time. I was worried about that. I knew if we could kind of shake off the rust, we would come back and play well today."

Game 2

Cuero 10, Bellville 4

Cuero 001 115 2 - 10 13 1

Bellville 010 000 3 - 4 8 5

Austin Johnson, Lane Meade (6) and Reid Schiffbauer. Drew Waller, Shane Bilski (6), Connor McIntyre (6) and Reese Weishuhn. W: Johnson (5-5). L: Waller. Highlights: (C) Case Farris 3 for 5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBIs; Clint Davis 4 for 5, 3 R, RBI; Joey Baker 1 for 2, R. (B) Austin Maeker 2 for 4, R; Waller 1 for 2, 3B, RBI.

Game 3

Cuero 2, Bellville 0

Bellville 000 000 0 - 0 5 1

Cuero 101 000 x - 2 7 1

Wesley Parrish and Reese Weishun. Levi Jones, D'Mond LaFond (6) and Reid Schiffbauer. W: Jones (3-1). L: Parrish. S: LaFond. Highlights: (B) Zack Ward 2 for 3; Andy Hunter 1 for 1. (C) Clint Davis 2 for 3, 2B, RBI; Austin Johnson 1 for 2, 2 R; LaFond 1 for 1, RBI; Pearson Reese 1 for 2. Records: Bellville 16-10; Cuero 19-11.

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