Hallettsville wins 2A state championship (VIDEO)
June 6, 2013 at 1:06 a.m.
Updated June 7, 2013 at 1:07 a.m.
ROUND ROCK – Reagan McAda was ranked No. 8 in his graduating class at Hallettsville and plans to major in animal science at Texas A&M in the fall.
McAda wants to become a veterinarian like his father, and his patients should rest assured their pets will receive the utmost care.
The Brahmas put their Class 2A state title hopes in McAda’s hands, and he responded like a champion.
McAda pitched a complete game and had two hits to lead Hallettsville to a 4-2 win over Hughes Springs in the state final on a steamy Thursday at Dell Diamond.
“I don’t even know if I could describe that,” McAda said after being draped with his gold state championship medal. “It’s so…Every senior dreams of this. Going out as the state champion. We can tell ourselves that we finally did it.”
McAda was named the MVP of the championship game, and he had the usual support from his teammates as Hallettsville captured its third UIL state baseball championship and first since 1997 with a 35-3 record.
“It’s just unbelievable,” McAda said. “The fan support, everybody, just a total team effort.”
McAda yielded five hits and three walks and struck out six, while working his way through 93 pitches. He sent the Mustangs (36-2), who were ranked No. 1 in the state coming into the tournament, to only their second loss of the season.
“My hands were like a water faucet today. It was hard gripping the ball,” McAda said. “I was taking it one pitch at a time. Trying to get ground balls because I knew my defense would work.”
Hallettsville committed four errors, but ended the game on an acrobatic double play turned by second baseman Nate Kowalik on a hit-and-run grounder up the middle.
“Man, he was a warrior today,” Hallettsville coach Shorty Cook said of McAda. “He made pitches that he had to in big situations. It just seemed like today he was so determined and that started way back when he was a little one. His dad instilled that mentality in him and we’re so blessed to have him.”
Hallettsville scored in the first inning for the third straight game. Will Wallace, who had three hits, had a RBI single against Hughes Spring starter Zach Bassham.
The Brahmas added a run when Dalton Herrington, who was courtesy running for McAda, came home on a throwing error.
“It definitely felt good to go out there and get three hits,” Wallace said. “I was just doing whatever I could to help the team. I was just hitting it wherever he pitched it.”
McAda ran into trouble in the fourth inning when he threw 29 pitches and the Mustangs tied the game on two hits, a walk, and a hit batsman before leaving the bases loaded.
“We knew we could get it back,” Kowalik said. “We had that tough loss last year in the regional finals. We battled all year long. We played a bunch of close games and we were right for it today.”
McAda singled and Wallace doubled Herrington to third base to open the fifth inning.
Kowalik fell behind 1-2 and fouled off two pitches against Bassham before hitting a single to center field to score Herrington.
“We’ve been working all year just trying to get here,” Kowalik said. “I knew I had to battle at the plate to put the ball in play as well as I could to get that run in.”
The Brahmas added another run on Weston Seay’s double play grounder.
“We knew they were going to be scrappy,” McAda said. “Luckily we just continued to fight our way through and hit the ball where they weren’t.”
McAda got a fly out with two runners on base to end the sixth. He had thrown 82 pitches, but there was little doubt he was coming back to the mound for the seventh.
“No, not at that time,” said Cook when asked if he thought about replacing McAda. “He seemed like he was so locked in today both on the mound and at the plate. I’ve never seen a kid so zoned in on something.”
Cook watched as McAda’s final pitch resulted in a double play, and then saw his pitcher lifted into the air by catcher Dylan Kerr before being submerged by his teammates in a celebratory dogpile.
“It feels exactly what I thought it would be like,” Cook said. “It is an amazing feeling. It’s like you’re on Cloud 9 and you’re on top of the world. Well, at least we’re on top of the state of Texas right now.”
Hallettsville 4, Hughes Springs 2
Hughes Springs 000 200 0 – 2 5 1
Hallettsville 200 020 x – 4 11 4
Zack Bassham and Chad McKinney. Reagan McAda and Dylan Kerr. W: McAda (10-0). L: Bassham (13-1). Highlights: (HS) Hunter Smith 2 for 3, RBI; Josh Anton 1 for 3, R, RBI. (Hal) McAda 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 for 3; Will Wallace 3 for 3, 2B, R, RBI; Justin Reeves 2 for 3; Nate Kowalik 1 for 3, RBI; Carson Schindler 1 for 3, R; Weston Seay 1 for 3. Records: Hughes Springs 36-2; Hallettsville 35-3.