90° F Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Two at-bats proved the difference Friday night as visiting Westlake lost to Lake Travis 5-1.
Paul Kirkpatrick threw well all game long, but two pitches in the first inning got away and wound up as a three-run and two-run homer resulted in all the difference.
Westlake battled throughout and had runners on base in six of seven innings, but the Chaparrals could only get one hit with runners in scoring position against Cavs’ starter Daniel Castano.
“Just one bad inning,” Westlake baseball coach Jeff Montgomery said. “Paul and I were talking, and he’s going to use it as a learning tool. The rest of it was shutout baseball.”
Kirkpatrick hung in the rest of the game and allowed just three hits the rest of the way.
“They didn’t hit him hard except those two,” catcher Zach Suarez said. “Take that first inning away, it would have been a hell of a ballgame.”
Westlake stranded a runner at second in the top of the first, and had runners at first and second with no out in the second but struck out three straight times.
The Chaps broke through in the fifth thanks to a couple of errors.
Carson Spencer reached on an error, and after an out Gordy Taylor drew a walk. Aaron Black then reached on an error to load the bases for Wes Nicol, who scooted one up the middle just enough to get the run home with everyone safe before it was corralled beyond the infield dirt.
But that was all Westlake would get with the bases loaded as Castano kept the Chaps off-balance enough on the night.
“he located his fastball really well tonight,” Suarez said. “He sort of got in our kitchen tonight. Take nothing away, he’s a good pitcher.”
Westlake faces Austin High April 26 in the regular-season finale.
“These guys are really working hard to be successful and go far in the playoffs hopefully,” Montgomery said. “I’ve seen our entire lineup hit after hit after hit after hit; our bats were a little cold tonight.”
If the Chaps win, they have a chance at the district title still, with Lake Travis done with district play at 9-3. Westlake and Bowie are both 8-3 with one game left.
If any or all of the three teams tie, there will be tiebreaking games starting April 27.
Lake Travis beat Bowie twice, Westlake and the Cavs split their two games this season, as did Westlake and Bowie.
“We still gotta have a short memory,” Suarez said. “Forget about this loss and focus on Austin High next week, go get’em and do well in the playoffs. Baseball is a game of failure; we have to see how we do when we do bad. How do we respond?”


  1. KEITH says:

    Now, losing that game to Akins(2-3) comes back to haunt Westlake baseball. Just 10 days ago the Chaps had a 2 game lead in district and now are fighting to even finish in a tie. In baseball you can’t have any “bad” innings against quality competition and have no clutch hitting.

  2. Thanks says:

    Terrific insight as usual Keith.

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