ROUND ROCK, Texas - Anson baseball made the trip down to Round Rock for the first time in school history, but the Tigers headed home a day early. They fell to Flatonia 5-3 in the State semifinals, but battled right until the end.
"We had our chances," said Head Coach Mario Estrada. "We had runners on and we didn't do too much with them. There at the end [of the game], we had it. We tried to do something, and we had three errors. That comes to bite you back."
At the beginning of the game, nerves seemed to be a factor. Flatonia forced an error on the first play of the game, followed by a wild pitch to get the Bulldogs in scoring position.
Matt Villanueva did get Anson out of jam, but he wouldn't be as lucky in the second. After walking two batter, Kaddin Mikulik hit a two RBI double to get Flatonia on the board.
Bulldogs pitcher Mitchell Mica was also locked in on the mound. He was able to retired 17 of the first 21 batters.
"He released the ball pretty far out front and it kinda just jumped out of his hand," said Villanueva. "Their catcher was doing a great job of spotting him back there, and he was hitting his spots."
"He just gave us fits," added Estrada. "We didn't swing the bat as good as we should've, but he did a great job of keeping [the ball] down and outside."
Mica had a no-hitter going through 6 2/3 innings. Chase Finley was able to break it up with triple, which kick started a Tiger rally. Andrew Norwood got Anson on the board with a two RBI single to bring the Tigers within one to close out the sixth.
Villanueva got into trouble in the seventh. He loaded up the bases before Finley came in for relief. Finley struck out the first batter, but then walked in the next run before Gus Venegas added some more insurance with an RBI single.
With two outs in the seventh, Stetson Meek hit a base hit to give Anson some life. Villanueva then followed with a triple to score Meek, but Finley went down swinging to close this one out. Flatonia advances to the State title game with a 5-3 win.
"It's just tough coming into a game like this," said Villanueva. "We had some jitters early, and it cost us some runs and errors. It's just the way baseball goes. That's why we love it. That's why we play it. That's just the game."
Despite the loss, Anson's eight seniors still proud of their historic season.
"It was just a great ride coming in," said Villanueva. "I mean I love all those guys and even the underclassmen love them too. They played their hearts out for the seniors to get us this far, and I couldn't ask for anything more from them."
Douglass would go on to beat Flatonia 10-0 in five on Thursday morning for the 1A State title.