“We are all just so proud of what we did,” said senior Jhonnatan Ferrebus. “Our pitchers were amazing, we got hits when we needed them, one through nine we counted on everyone, they held the rope and would hand it to the next guy if they needed to."
All season, all playoffs, all regional semifinals, the Tigers dug and found a way to keep moving forward and keep winning when they needed too.
The Tigers faced close calls each of their first three rounds of the playoffs, but managed sweeps in each round.
The Tigers suffered their first loss in the playoffs in the regional semifinals against Strake Jesuit, but again Katy showed that same fight, evening the series on Friday.
But the Tigers’ magic ran out on Saturday, as they fell 2-1 to the Crusaders in game three of the regional semifinals, bringing the teams season to an end.
But no matter how the team’s season came to an end, each and every player is proud of what they were able to accomplish.
“We are all just so proud of what we did,” said senior left fielder Jhonnatan Ferrebus. “Our pitchers were amazing all season, all playoffs, we got hits when we needed them, one through nine we counted on everyone, they held the rope and would hand it to the next guy if they needed to. We may not have won today but we played to win all playoffs and I’m just proud of everyone.”
The Tigers pitching staff performed admirably in the matchup. Cole Kaase started and went 1.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks while walking three, before Nayden Ramirez came on in relief and pitched the final 4.1 innings and allowed one run on four hits while striking out five.
“We just needed one more bounce to go our way,” said Katy head coach Tom McPherson. “It was a good series, their pitching staff kept our bats in check and that was really the difference. Neither team really hit that well, but they got a couple key hits here today and that was the key.”
Strake Jesuit took the lead in the second inning, getting two walks and a single to load the bases and then getting a hit by pitch to bring a run across. But Ramirez came on in relief and limited the damage by inducing a fly out. The Crusaders then got a second run in the fourth off an RBI single from Clay Richardson.
Katy’s offense finally started to get going in the sixth inning, Ferrebus hit a double to get into scoring position and then scored on a fielding error by the Strake Jesuit first baseman. But the Tigers were unable to get another run across in the sixth and then went three up-three down in the seventh, bringing the teams season to a close.
Katy will graduate 12 seniors this year, but only four of them are starters, and the team has most of its pitching staff returning.
But in a big change, it won’t be McPherson in charge of the Tigers next season as the coach is retiring after 34 years. Katy announced Saturday that assistant coach Wes Hearne has been promoted to the head role and will lead the Tigers next season.
“They’re a young bunch,” McPherson said. “Almost every player on the infield is an undergraduate and our pitching staff has about six guys that can throw and they’re all juniors. They’ve got a lot of guys and a lot of arms coming back. It will be hard to replace a couple of those guys, but this will be a really good bunch next season.”
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