By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star
Trailing 2-1 to Katy and with six outs remaining in the season for Travis High School, senior Ryan Rickett stepped up to the plate and blasted a double off the left-centerfield wall, waking up a silent dugout and the slumbering Travis bats.
“He threw me a curve ball for the first pitch and I just missed it,” Rickett said. “He then threw a fastball low and away for ball one, then came back with that same curve ball and I didn’t miss it that time.”
Wesley Faison followed with a double, scoring courtesy runner Bo Hoeffken, who slid across home plate in a cloud of dust, tying the game at 2.
“I knew I had to get the run in to tie the game. I got an off-speed pitch and I just sat back on it and put everything I had into it,” Faison said. “We strung some hits together and came out on top. That’s how you battle back.”
Cole Turney walked and Jaren Burks followed with a double, to make the score 3-2. Sammy Faltine followed with another double that cleared the bases to make the score 5-2. Nathan Armstead then reached on a bunt single, sending Faltine to third, setting the stage for Dominic Cox, who cleared the bases with another double to make the score 7-2.
Cox went to the plate with a heavily bandaged arm after being spiked while trying to steal second in the fifth inning.
“I was feeling a little faint in the dugout, but the trainers cleaned it up for me and I was like, I have to go back in,” Cox said. “He threw a change-up low and inside and I was thinking I have to get a hit and produce some runs. I got it down the left field line and it was good.”
After a ground out, Kevin Ortiz finished the scoring by singling in Cox, making the score 8-2. Rickett then finished the game by getting six straight outs and Travis advanced to the Region semi-finals.
Rickett went the distance on a hot and humid Saturday afternoon at Tompkins High School, striking out seven and allowing two runs on three hits.
“I didn’t really feel the heat at the beginning of the game. I had my adrenaline flowing and my heart was pumping. Getting a big lead definitely helped me regain some energy,” Rickett said. “My two-seamer was really working today. I was able to get it in on their hands, then go with a soft fastball away.”
“It just took forever and ever and ever to get some runs. Ryan (Rickett) got it going. He did a great job with that ball that hit the fence. Then it was just a domino effect. Ryan got the domino falling and everyone else just fed off of that,” Travis Coach Rodney Hernandez said. “We found a way to score some runs, we tied it up and from there it just took off. It’s just contagious when the guys start hitting like that.
When they start running and scoring like that, it’s fun when that is happening. You don’t have to do any coaching. You just let the kids do it all”
Travis beat Katy 12-0 Thursday night, lost 2-1 on Friday night and won 8-2 on Saturday afternoon to claim the series and advance to the Region 3 District 6A semi-finals against North Shore in a three-game series at Rice University this weekend.