Giddings Buffs 2nd in State
For the second time this school year Carthage stopped a Giddings bid for a state championship. The latest was the Bulldogs 5-2 win over the Buffs in the state championship baseball game for Class 3A. Giddings held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Carthage got a hit, then a Giddings fielding error to gain a little momentum. Three more hits, one over the centerfielder's head enabled four runs to score for Carthage. The runs gave the Bulldogs a 5-2 lead they never relinquished. Giddings was never able to get anything going after that spurt.
The Buffaloes took the 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Trey Masel led off with a single. Ty Marlow laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Masek to second and into scoring position. Rush Plumlee singled to move Masek to third. A stolen base by Plumlee put runners at second and third. Big Zach Berry laced a single up the middle to score Masek as Plumlee held at third. Pitcher Ethan Kmoch then lofted a sacrifice fly enabling Plumlee to tag up and score. The runs gave Giddings a 2-1 lead and the Buff faithful were euphoric. The euphoria lasted until the Bulldog uprising in the bottom of the fifth that took their gold medals away.
Coach Mike Marlow was proud of his charges and the way they never gave up until the last out of the season. Giddings has a lot to look forward to next year since only two players, Berry and Kmoch, are seniors. The other 15 players will return for at least one more season. Coach Marlow warned fans, "We have the potential to return no doubt, but you have to have a lot of luck and the ball has to bounce true to return to the state tourney."
This was the Buffs' first trip to the state tourney in their long baseball history. Giddings finished the season with a 28-6-1 record — the exact same record as state champion Carthage.
Giddings had beaten Texarkana Pleasant Grove 5-1 to move into the championship game. Giddings jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Brooks Marlow singled to open the game. A walk to Rush Plumlee put runners on first and second. Zach Berry hit a grounder up the middle that was booted by the PG second baseman and Marlow continued home for the first score of the game. Giddings added a run in the fourth and then three in the sixth. The three in the sixth were keyed by Brooks Marlow's two-run double.
Pleasant Grove had trouble getting runners on base as Trey Masek pitched a nifty two-hitter. He walked two, struck out three, and did not allow an earned run in the game. Stats can be found on page B3.