Due to the UIL postponing the playoffs due to Swine Flu, the Indians faced a must win game Saturday after the area received over an inch of rain. All the area teams were scrambling to try to find a dry field to play on and they found one at Southwest Christian High where they have a AstroTurf field. Problem was, they would have to play at 10:00PM.
The games scheduled before the Indian/Jaguar game went long postponing the start of the game till nearly 12:30am Sunday. The UILhad suspended any curfew requirements on game times due to the unique situation and the stands were full of parents from both teams on a cool evening.
Michael Barnhart started the game for the good guys and battled the hot bats of Flower Mound. Keller had yet another misplayed ball in the outfield to account for Flower Mound’s only run through 6 innings and at that point in the game the Indians had a 2-1 lead. The Indians offense was as cool as the night air and they couldn’t get anything going after scoring one in the first and leaving the bases loaded. At one point in the game the score book showed that Barnhart had struck out 9 Jaguars while the Flower Mound pitcher had struck out 10 Indians.
Coach Stramp attempted to jumpstart the offense on numerous occasions by having his batters bunt, but only one time did an Indian successufully get a bunt down to move the runners over. It was a frustrating night/morning to say the least.
In the top of the 7th, with he Indians leading 2-1 and a Jaguar runner on third with two outs, Barnharthad had two strikes on the batter when he popped a ball straight up in the air to see three Indian players stand in the vicinity of the ball as it dropped to the ground 15 feet in front of home plate as the tieing run scored. Keller was unable to score a run in the bottom of the 7th even though the lead off batter got on base.
So we go to extra innings and Barnhart is looking tired and after giving up a walk (my memory is bad, it was 3am, could have been a hit) and two runners on, Coach Stramp put Max Muncy on the mound who then gave up a hit to score two runs. At that point I left the game, Flower Mound had taken the momentum and it was after 3 in the morning and I had nearly 70 miles to drive to Lewisville where I was staying. I finally laid my head down to sleep at five this morning and 14 hours later, I’m still wore out.
Routine pop flys were the weakness of this Indian team in the playoffs. My son who went to the game with me reminded me that his senior year a routine dropped fly ball to left field ended that teams chances of advancing also. That and the inability of the Indians to get a bunt down will haunt the class of 2009 as they look back on this year.