CALALLEN — Robstown’s season ended a week earlier than they wanted, but as anyone who was at Steve Chapman Field in Calallen For Game 3 Saturday will attest to, the Cotton Pickers didn’t go down without a fight.
Playing a winner-take-all third game, the Cotton Pickers lost an early lead and then did everything they could to hang around, even scoring three with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. In the end, the Sinton Pirates were relentless, scoring five in the top of the 9th to pull out a 10-5 win.
The victory sends the Pirates to the Class 4A state championship. Sinton (30-5-2) is squaring off against Robinson (30-2) in the semifinal match at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Disch-Falk Field in Austin. The winner is taking on the winner of the Abilene Wylie (33-1) and Texarkana Pleasant Grove (35-3).
The Pirates were leading 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh. That’s when Robstown put together a dramatic comeback.
Jesse Gonzalez got on thanks to a Sinton error. Austin Kwiatkowski singled to continue the inning. Nick Salazar pulled the Pickers within 5-3. Victor Moreno singled into left field, allowing two runs to cross and tie the game, but the Pirates tagged him out trying to stretch it into a double.
In the 9th, the Pirates reached on a dropped third strike to start the ninth and then an error on a sac bunt attempt put runners on first and second with no outs.
The Pirates evened the best-of-three game series by winning Game 2 Friday night, 8-2, in Calallen. Robstown took a one-game series lead by winning Game 1 of the series, 5-0, Thursday night in Jourdanton.
The entire series was originally set to be played at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi, but the series was moved because of heavy rain. Game 1 was played in Jourdanton.
The Cotton Pickers dominated Game 1 behind the pitching of Jacob Garcia, who held Sinton hitless through six innings.