That walk-off really my first opportunity in that position and it was just something I’m so grateful for. My teammates put me in a great position and I’m just so grateful to have been put in those positions to succeed.”
Katy is starting to find its stride in district play.
The Tigers got off to a hot start this season under first-year head coach Wes Hearne, rolling through non district play, but an untimely bout of bad luck with hitting slowed their roll. But the Tigers turned things around quickly, going on a win streak to get right back into the playoff picture.
Katy (15-4-3, 5-2) kept their roll going on Saturday, but it wasn’t without drama, as the Tigers had to fight to beat Jordan (8-7, 3-2) 3-2, on a walk-off in the seventh inning as they moved up to third in the District 19-6A standings.
“We just competed well today,” Hearne said. “We battled and did what we could, the main problem today was that the wind was blowing in and we were hitting it in the air. We finally made an adjustment late in the game and manufactured a run, but it was a good win for us. It was a battle and Jordan is a really good team.”
It was a game where neither team could ever pull away and it started in the first inning. Jordan got a man on from an error in the top of the first and Ryan Miller brought the runner home by hitting a single.
But Brady Englett tied things up in the bottom of the inning when he drove in A.J. Atkinson with a sacrifice grounder, and the Tigers took the lead the following inning on a Nayden Ramirez RBI single.
Jordan though came back to tie things in the third inning off a one-run double from Monty Bognar. Both teams battled from there with pitching and defense leading the way, and it took until the seventh inning until another run was scored. Katy had kept Jordan off the board and in the bottom of the seventh put runners on second and third with one out. Reese Ruderman then came to the plate and singled to left field to clinch a walk-off win for the Tigers.
Ruderman also had made a huge play in left field earlier in the day, making a diving catch that prevented what would have been an extra base hit in an all-around great performance for the senior.
“I had never really played outfield at all until this year and honestly I’ve never even had the opportunity to make a catch like that, so to come up with it was just awesome,” Ruderman said. “The same thing with the walk-off, that’s really my first opportunity at that and it was just something I’m so grateful for. My teammates put me in a great position to succeed and really all I can say is I’m so grateful to have been put in those positions to succeed.”
It was the fifth straight district win for the Tigers and was highlighted by Lucas Moore, who did an outstanding job on the mound, pitching a complete game and striking out ten without allowing an earned run and walking two.
Davis Duhon also had a great day on the mound for the Warriors, going 5.2 innings and keeping them in it by allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out one, keeping the Tigers lineup at bay for the majority of the day.
The Tigers play Jordan again on Tuesday.
“We’re used to playing in tight games and we’re used to playing down,” Moore said. “We’ve had out backs to the wall in some big games before and used timely hitting to get wins. We’re playing better, we just have to clean up a few things on defense and hit the ball a bit better and I think we’re going to be a dangerous team.”