Panther Power: Ridge Point advances to state title game

Photo by Joshua Koch / VYPE Media

ROUND ROCK – Ridge Point once again showed its resiliency.

All throughout the 2019 playoffs, the Panthers have had to fight back from deficits and this time did it on the state’s biggest stage.

Jack Baker drove in three runs, Hayde Key tossed six solid innings striking out six and Ridge Point defeats McKinney Boyd 5-2 on Friday in the Class 6A State Semifinal at Dell Diamond.

“It feels great, I think we played nervous at times,” Ridge Point coach Clinton Welch said. “We did what we’ve been doing. We’ve come from behind quite a bit on the journey to Round Rock. I hope that’s not their preference to fall behind and expect to rally every time.

“Once again we’re proud of them.”

Ridge Point will play the winner of Lake Travis and Southlake Carroll on Saturday with first pitch slated for 4 p.m.

With a win on Saturday, Ridge Point would become the first Fort Bend ISD team to win a state championship since Fort Bend Elkins did it in 2002 and 2003.

“It’s awesome and again their big picture goal a long time ago was to try and get to Austin,” Welch said. “We got that and they redirected their goal once we won the region to try and win this thing. Hopefully, we will play well, get a few breaks and see if it goes our way tomorrow.”

Trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Ridge Point finally broke through against Jack Hagan.

With the bases loaded, Jacob Garcia drove one in on a single to left field and then Baker, who finished 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs, blew the inning open. Baker roped a pitch from reliever Dawson Goheen into center, where Tyler Collins misplayed it. The snafu allowed all three runs to come in, capping off a four-run inning for the Panthers.

“We never get down,” Baker said. “We always have confidence that we can come back. Kind of a bad thing but at the same time we progress as the game goes on. We keep grinding.”

Hagan gave up four runs on four hits, struck out two and walked two in three innings.

After grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly, the Broncos extended their lead in the fourth on a throwing error by Key, pushing the lead to 2-0.

The two runs would be the only ones that Key allowed. The Texas Tech commit gave up the two runs on six hits, struck out six and walked one in 6 2/3 innings.

“I didn’t have my best stuff, I didn’t have the best zip on my fastball today but I was able to hit spots consistently,” Key said. “I battled through it and mix up my pitches enough to have them off-balance.”

Baker extended the Ridge Point in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to center field.

“He did what he’s been doing,” Welch said about Baker. “He gets great at-bats. He doesn’t necessarily have our highest batting average but people that know baseball, he has great at-bats. Knows the strikezone and great situational hitter. Obviously, he came through in the clutch. He’s a mature hitter.”

In the seventh, the Broncos loaded the bases before Dylan Bobo came in and slammed the door getting the final out on a grounder to second.

Re-listen to the Full Broadcast with Play-By-Play man Roger Smith on the call! 

Listen to “STATE 6A BASEBALL SEMIFINALS, PT. 2: Fort Bend Ridge Point Panthers vs. McKinney Boyd Broncos” on Spreaker.

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