A magical run for the Ridge Point baseball team ended with a thud Saturday night.
The Panthers, after steamrolling through the Class 6A playoffs, fell short of the ultimate prize at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, where they lost 17-0 in the 6A title game against defending champi-on Southlake Carroll.
It was Ridge Point’s first appearance in the UIL state tournament and only the team’s second loss in 13 postseason games.
Ridge Point (33-5-1) reached the final by coming from behind to beat McKinney Boyd 5-2 in Friday’s state semifinals.
In that game, leadoff hitter Jack Baker paced the Panthers by going 2 for 3 with three RBIs, while winning pitcher Hayde Key came within one out of a complete game while allowing two un-earned runs and six hits with six strikeouts.
After failing to capitalize on a bases loaded, one-out situation in the first inning of Saturday’s final, the Panthers were unable to recapture the magic that defined their postseason run, which includ-ed multiple late-inning comebacks.
Prior to this year’s run, the 8-year-old program’s deepest foray into the postseason was a regional semifinal appearance in 2017.
The Panthers’ best season to date did not end with a flourish like they had hoped, but there appears to be plenty of reason for optimism heading into next season. Six of their nine starters in Saturday’s final were underclassmen, including Baker and Key.