BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
Tied up at 1-1, Dublin exploded for four runs in the fourth inning and then battled through a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning for a 5-4 victory against Tolar. The win gives the Lions a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series for the Area title and Dublin can make it a sweep tonight at home.
It looked like it might be an easy night after the Lions jumped out to a 1-0 lead after a half inning of play. Leadoff hitter Cameron Olvera singled and was driven home by the first of three hits by Keith Wright.
The Rattlers made it a 1-1 game in their half of the first and then tacked on one run in the second inning and two more in the third to lead 4-1.
“I just told the guys we had to stay steady and chip away,” Coach Kellen Cervetto said.
Blaize Leatherwood got things rolling for Dublin with a double to start the top of the fourth inning. Angel Ramirez slapped a grounder for a single and reached first while Leatherwood advanced to third base.
Cameron Olvera hard hit to second base was too hot to handle and scored Leatherwood. Tim Teten powered the second double of the inning and powered home Ramirez and Olvera knotting the score at 4-4.
Wright then whacked a single to pave the way for Teten’s score and Dublin was suddenly on top with a shaky 5-4.
Josh Hanes topped the mound through four innings giving up five hits, four runs and striking out five batters. Coach Kellen Cervetto pulled Hanes leading into the fifth inning and put Wright to work. Wright went 1.2 innings allowing one hit and forcing the Rattlers to lay the ball in play for the Dublin defense to handle.
Teten entered the game in a tense two-out and two-runners on base situation and made it a little tougher when he gave up a single. Teten didn’t appear phased by the hit and calmly starred down the batter. He served up the pitch that was grounded right back to him and then over to Wright at first to escape the inning.
Cervetto admits his heart was in his throat as the bases were loaded.
“No doubt,” Cervetto laughed. “But, we have been in games like this all year. This was nothing new to us and the guys had confidence they could pull it out.”
Wright led the Lions at the plate going 3-4 with two RBI. Leatherwood and Olvera (1 RBI) poked a pair of hits each. Teten’s double was a two-RBI poke.
Dublin plays host to Tolar at 5 p.m. tonight. If a game three is needed it is expected to start about 30 minutes after the first.