AUSTIN — A three run triple in the bottom of the 1st inning was all that defending 4A state baseball champion Abilene Wylie could must off of Pleasant Grove pitcher Caleb Bolden in their state semifinal rematch on Wednesday. But unfortunately for the Hawks, those three runs were all that the Bulldogs would need on their way to a 3-1 win.
Wylie opened the first inning with back to back singles by Zach Smith and Sam King. Smith was retired by a fielders choice bunt by Bryce Gist. Tyler Henson walked to load the bases. Bolden struck out Conner Carlton for the second out of the inning. But Cameron Hanna lined a 3-2 pitch into deep centerfield, scoring King, Gist and Henson to put the Dogs up 3-0.
Bolden settled down after the first inning and after giving up a third inning single, retired the last eleven Wylie batters. The Hawk senior hurler ended the year with a record of 14-2 and finished the day with 9 strikeouts, ending the year with 150 strikeouts of opposing hitters.
But Wylie pitcher Conner Carlton was even better. The junior left hander who beat PG 7-5 in their 2016 state semifinal game, held the Hawks to only two hits in the game yesterday, walking one and striking out five while running his person record to 12-0.
The Hawks got on the board in the 5th inning when sophomore catcher Keaton Russo hit his first home run of the year, a blast over the left field fence that cut the margin to 3-1. Two batters later Coner Oullette lined a one out double into right field, but the Hawks were unable to drive him home.
PG finished the season with a record of 35-4. Wylie, which advanced to the state tournament for a third straight year is now 34-1 and will face Waco Robinson Thursday afternoon for the state title. Robinson eliminated Sinton 10-0 in six innings in the first semifinal game.