Sammy Faltine struck out eight as he shut out the Austin Bulldogs 4-0 to clinch a playoff spot for the Tigers last Friday night at Travis High School.
The Tigers scored all the runs they needed in the second inning as they loaded the bases with a walk and two hit batters. With two outs, second baseman Mason Brock came through with a solid single to left field, scoring two runs. A third run scored on a wild pitch, and the Tigers were on their way to securing a spot in the playoffs.
“I really shortened up on the bat on that pitch just to get the ball in play and make sure I didn’t strike out. I just wanted to get my team on the scoreboard early in the game, and I wanted to beat Austin to put us in the playoffs,” Brock said.
Travis added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Faltine led off with a single to left field. Faltine advanced to second base on a fielder’s choice and came around to score on an error by the second baseman.
Austin never threatened to score, and Faltine’s fastball seemed to pick up speed as the game went on.
“I really let it loose toward the end of the game. I just tried to throw it as hard as I could and hopefully it would be a strike,” Faltine said.
Brock had one hit and two runs-batted-in, and Faltine, Thomas Roldan, David Pagan and Colin Muchinski each had a hit for the Tigers.
“I think Sammy was really pumped up for the last two innings. His pitch count was low, and I thought he did a great job in creating swings at the plate and avoiding those full counts where he has struggled in the past. He was really on today. We helped him out early with the three runs in the second inning and that helped him relax,” Travis Coach Rodney Hernandez said.
Travis is now 9-1 in District 20 6A play and has clinched a spot in the playoffs. Ridge Point is 10-0 and the two teams met last night (Tuesday) to determine the district championship.