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'Stangs stunned at home in extras

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
No. 5 Mullen falls to Heritage 5-4 in 8 innings; season of expectations comes to an early end despite four HRs.
It didn’t end the way they wanted it, but the Mullen Mustangs had to accept it.

They lost to Heritage 5-4 in 8 innings on Saturday at Bill Swift Field in Class 5A Region 4.

Mullen, the No. 5 seed that had much larger aspirations with a dozen seniors and four college signees, finished 18-6.

There were no excuses from head coach Phil Stanford.

His team lost.

“It’s definitely not the outcome we expected or desired, not the one,” Stanford said. “We had different goals, different plans …

“It was a great atmosphere, fans living and dying on every pitch … and this is what happens when you end up in the postseason with everything at stake and our guys did a great job of battling. We had a lot of energy. We just made one mistake that got us in trouble.”

A misplay on a flyball led to two late Heritage runs.

Earlier, the Eagles had taken a 3-0 lead in the first before the Mustangs caught them by the sixth. One of their four home runs got them with 5-4 in the eighth before Heritage sealed it.

Ryan Brady capped a monster offensive season for the Mustangs with two of the homers (nine on the season among 28 extra-base hits), and Henry Stewart and Trevor Moore each had one.

However, Mullen was held to just seven hits, fanned 11 times, walked only once and was caught stealing twice.

In playoffs, Stanford said, baseball remains as unique as any athletic event.

“It’s why we play this game,” Stanford said, “because it’s so beautiful, so different, and anything can happen.”
HERITAGE 5, MULLEN 4, 8 inn.

Heritage   300  000  02  --  5  7  1

Mullen   000  201  01  --  4  7  1

Mullen – Hurley 3-0-0-0, A. Brady 4-2-2-2, Krza 3-0-0-0, H. Stewart 4-1-2-1, MacKenzie 2-0-0-0, Moore 4-1-1-1, Marsh 3-0-1-0, R. Brady 1-0-0-0, T. Stewart 3-0-1-0, Gamueda 3-0-0-0. Totals 30-4-7-4.

CS – T. Stewart, Marsh. BB -- MacKenzie. HR – A. Brady 2, H. Stewart, Moore.

Pitching – Moore 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K; Marsh (L) 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. Moore and Marsh each hit a batter.