Bushland baseball eliminated from playoffs after Game 3 loss to Wall

VIDEO: Bushland baseball eliminated from playoffs after Game 3 loss to Wall
Published: May. 27, 2023 at 6:11 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Bushland Falcons were knocked out of the high school baseball playoffs on Saturday after a Game 3 loss to the Wall Hawks.

Bushland won Game 1 in dominating fashion but dropped the final two games of the series. Wall’s pitching picked up over the final two matchups and helped them pull within one game of a state tournament appearance.

The game was scoreless through the first two innings of play when suddenly action was stopped due to a lightning delay in the third inning. The delay lasted just over 40 minutes before Game 3 got back underway. Weather was an issue throughout the game as the rain continued to fall, but the game was never put into another delay.

Wall got the run scoring started in the third inning with a sacrifice fly that broke the tie and gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, the Hawks extended that lead even further with a pair of RBI singles from Dylan Gidney and Will Scheer. Ultimately, Bushland made the move to bring Ty Purcell in to pitch with the bases loaded, no outs, and four runs already on the board for the Hawks (three coming in the fourth). Purcell worked out of it flawlessly and the lead held firm at 4-0.

The Falcons bats got going in the sixth inning after a pitching change from Wall. Cannon Melban drove in Jaxon Fetsch to make it a 4-1 game and Bushland got right back at it in the seventh and final inning.

It was senior Josh Bass who singled just over the outstretched glove of Wall’s second baseman to make it a two-run game. A tremendous diving catch from Wall’s Hagyn Barbee in left field saved another Bushland baserunner from getting on and put Wall one out away from advancing.

After a walk, Bushland brought the go-ahead run to the plate in Stratton Malloy. Malloy made solid contact towards the opposite field in right, but Wall moved under it to make the catch for the final out and clinched a spot in the regional finals.

“About one inning too late to get guys across.” Bushland head coach Joel Love said after the loss. “We put a little pressure on them. I didn’t expect anything less than that honestly... I knew we were gonna score at least one or two and we did that, but I wish we could’ve got a few more across to tie it up, maybe even take the lead, but we didn’t get it done today.”

Love is moving on from Bushland baseball after this season. The next head coach for Bushland baseball is expected to be announced sometime within the few weeks.