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HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Odessa High's playoff run ended by Southlake Carroll - Odessa American: Baseball

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HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL: Odessa High's playoff run ended by Southlake Carroll

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Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2019 12:04 am

ARLINGTON The Odessa High Bronchos saw their run in the Class 6A baseball playoffs come to an end Friday with a 6-0 loss to Southlake Carroll in a one-game regional semifinal playoff at Globe Life Park.

The Dragons, defending state champions and ranked No. 9 in the state this season, lived up to their billing, but Odessa High made them work for a return trip to the regional finals.

Carroll left-hander Cutter Sippel pitched 6.2 shutout innings and the Dragons generated enough offense to eliminate the Bronchos.

Odessa High (23-13-1), which reached the fourth round for the first time since 2009, was the last fourth-place team remaining in the Class 6A playoffs.

"Congrats to Southlake," Odessa High coach Joshua Hulin said. "They've got a good team and they've got a lot of depth.

"I'm still happy with the decision to go one game and I'm proud of my guys."

Carroll (29-11) advances to the regional finals for the third year in a row to take on Flower Mound, which completed a sweep of its series against Euless Trinity on Friday. Details of the matchup are to be determined.

The Dragons, who reached the state semifinals in 2017 before winning the title last season, have won 14 in a row and 21 of their last 23 in returning to the fifth round.

"It's such a coach thing to say, but it's so dang true," Carroll coach Larry Vucan said. "We're just fortunate."

Sippel (11-1) limited Odessa High to three hits, all singles, while striking out seven and walking three. He was pulled after reaching the pitch limit when Charles McClure singled with two outs in the seventh inning. Reliever Joe Steeber needed just one pitch to record the final out.

"We were worried because (the Bronchos) get right up on the plate and Cutter has been known to hit some people from time to time," Vucan said. "But he took the challenge and went after it.

“He had all three pitches working for strikes on both sides of the plate. I thought he was efficient with his pitches and our defense really played well behind him, which helped him be efficient."

Odessa High advanced just one runner as far as third base and didn't have two men on at the same time until the seventh, when Jordan Munoz walked with one out and McClure singled up the middle with two outs.

Cristian Baeza singled with one out in the first and courtesy runner Angel Rios stole second and moved up on a groundout, but was stranded at third. Gibrian Pena beat out an infield single with two outs in the third, but Sippel allowed just two other baserunners — walks to Munoz in the fifth and Bobby Salinas in the sixth — before the seventh inning.

"Their pitcher was really good," Hulin said. "We kind of thought they'd throw a lefty and that’s the fifth lefty we've seen in the playoffs, so we felt comfortable with a lefty on the mound. Obviously, he pitched really, really good."

Carroll got a run in the first when Yanluis Ortiz, who went 2 for 4, led off with a ground-rule double into the right-field corner and courtesy runner Kyler Boulware scored when Grant Golomb hit into a force out. Cade Manning doubled in two runs in the third and Riley Garcia added a two-out RBI single in the fifth.

The Dragons,who finished with eight hits, closed out the scoring with two runs in the sixth. Austin Hale and Brandon Howell, who was 2 for 3, had consecutive RBI singles before Odessa High reliever Michael Gonzalez got Manning to bounce into a double play.

Baeza (6-5) was charged with four runs on five hits over five innings to take the loss. He walked three and struck out two.

Nick Arenivas, who pitched a pair of complete games in Game 3 to help the Bronchos advance in the second and third rounds, allowed two runs on two hits in a third of an inning before Gonzalez finished up.

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