Ridge Point falls to Southlake Carroll

ROUND ROCK – Going against what had become a theme of its playoff run, Ridge Point didn’t have another comeback left in the tank.

Early errors paired with a struggling bullpen became too much for the Panthers to overcome as Southlake Carroll capitalized on every single one of their mistakes.

The Dragons scored 11 runs in the third inning and blew out Ridge Point 17-0 to claim the Class 6A State Championship on Saturday at Dell Diamond.

“We’ve used this word the whole time through the playoffs, they’ve shown their resiliency,” Ridge Point coach Clinton Welch said. “I don’t know how many times we were down but it was a lot. Of course, we got down 4-0 in the first inning of this game too and just one time too many.”

Ridge Point finishes its best season in program history with a record of 33-5-1 after reaching the state tournament for the first time. The Panthers were trying to become the first Fort Bend ISD team to win a baseball title since Fort Bend Elkins in 2003.

“It doesn’t take away what a great group of student athletes we have at Ridge Point,” Welch said. “They’ve done a great job of battling to get here and acting correct on the field and doing a great job of representing Ridge Point High School, Fort Bend ISD and their community.

“We’re really happy for them. It’s tough to get here, tough to win that final game. They had a great season.”

With the win, Southlake Carroll wrapped up a 33-11 season and claimed its fifth overall title and second-straight Class 6A crown.

In the opening inning, the Dragons got to Ridge Point right away.

An RBI double by Cade Manning and RBI single from Riley Garcia, paired with three errors in the frame led to a 4-0 outburst by Southlake Carroll.

Despite the early deficit, Ridge Point had shown through the playoffs the ability to fight back into a game – being down 7-2 at one point against Atascocita in an eventual 12-9 victory.

But this time wouldn’t be the case.

Southlake Carroll starter Joe Steeber navigated around traffic on the bases, stranding five Ridge Point runners on base through the first two innings. The Panthers were held to two hits through the first three frames.

In the third, Ridge Point’s miscues piled up.

In a frame where Southlake Carroll pushed across 11 runs, five of those came either on bases loaded walks, errors, hit by pitch or a wild pitch.

Ridge Point will return a majority of its lineup heading into next season and be a favorite to potentially make a return to Round Rock.

“We do have a lot, relatively speaking the starting lineup was young,” Welch said. “Hopefully they can draw some great experiences from this, the whole six-week playoff run. Maybe come back hungrier next year since we came so close.”

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