Buffs Fall to Pleasant Grove
Giddings finished their second trip to the state tourney in the same place they did the first time, in second place. The Buffs opened the state tourney with an impressive 6-0 victory over Jasper, who was making their seventh appearance in the UIL’s final four. Giddings then came back with less than 15- hours rest, to lose to Pleasant Grove 2-0 in nine innings in the season’s final game. Giddings wasted at least two chances to win the game in regulation.
Giddings vs. Jasper - The two teams finally got to start their game at 9:38 after a huge rainstorm delayed earlier games. Giddings opened fast as Trey Masek doubled with one out in the bottom of the first. Ty Marlow followed with an RBI single to score what proved be the winning run. Staked to the early lead Masek’s pitching shut down the Bulldogs.
Jasper’s Derek Sowell was doing the same to Giddings until the fifth inning. Rush Plumlee led off with a double, Mason Becker walked. Phillip Fritsche continued his playoff hitting with a single to score Plumlee with Becker advancing to third.
Then, Vinson Gonzales laid down a perfect bunt on a suicide squeeze as Becker scored despite a collision with the Jasper catcher. Giddings had a 3-0 lead – comfortable but not enough.
In the sixth inning Giddings added three more runs to the scoreboard. Masek walked to lead off the inning. Jacob Satterfield came in as a courtesy runner for Masek. Ty Marlow hit a grounder that forced Satterfield at second. Marlow was safe at second on Plumlee’s slow grounder, the throw rolled away allowing both runners to advance another base. Becker laid down the squeeze bunt this time as Marlow was safe at home with the fourth run. Fritsche came through again with a single to score Plumlee. Lance Krause hit a grounder to third base. The throw was missed by the Jasper second sacker as Becker scored and Fritsche went to third. The last two outs came without the Buffs adding to their total.
Jasper was not through in this game. A lead off double showed the game was not over. Masek struck out the next batter for the first out. The next batter grounded to third, which Fritsche calmly threw out at first. A walk put runners on first and second. The next was a pop fly that Brooks Marlow squeezed at second base, sending Giddings to the state finals for the second consecutive year.
Giddings vs. Pleasant Grove-In a game that was truly a state championship game, the two teams battled to a scoreless tie until the top of the ninth when Pleasant Grove was able to punch across scores to decide the game. Giddings Ty Marlow and PG’s Michael Gilley hooked up in a pitcher’s duel. Neither team got a hit in the first two innings. Brooks Marlow got the first hit of the game, a double down the leftfield line. Trey Masek followed with a single through the left side to put runners at first and third. It was here the first ‘play’ backfired on Giddings. Masek broke from first on a ‘steal’. He stopped as the pitcher threw to the shortstop, who bluffed Masek back to first while keeping an eye on Brooks Marlow. When Marlow got just far enough off, the shortstop threw to third for the out, ending a scoring opportunity with two of your top hitters coming to bat.
Pleasant Grove returned the gift in the top of the seventh when they tried a double steal with one out. Plumlee threw to Fritsche at third to get the lead runner. A ground out ended the inning that might have scored the winning run.
Giddings had another opportunity in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brooks Marlow walked to lead off. Masek bunted him to second and Ty Marlow singled to put runners on first and third with one out. Plumlee hit a sharp grounder back to the pitcher, who turned, threw to second for the first out. The shortstop threw to first, just nipping a hustling Plumlee for the third out. Brooks Marlow was crossing home with what would have been the state winning run if the double play was not completed.
The double play gave PG a mental boost as they came out in the top of the ninth. Back-to-back doubles put runners on second and third with no outs. Masek replaced Ty Marlow on the mound. A grounder to Brooks Marlow at second got an out as the runner got caught in a rundown. Both remaining runners advanced to third and second. A second grounder to second, got a diving stop and an out at first as the first run of the game scored. A single put up the second run later.
Giddings did not get a runner on base in the bottom of the ninth. PG’s Gilley had pitched the entire game allowing the Buffs just six hits.
Ty Marlow pitched a great game, fighting off cramps late in the game, battling to the end. He allowed just two hits to PG in the first eight innings. A one-out single in the fourth ended the nohitter and another single in the seventh were the only hits Marlow gave up until the two doubles in the top of the ninth.