The Klein Collins Tigers fell behind early and then managed to give up a late lead to the Austin Bowie Bulldogs on Thursday night, but still found a way to sneak away with a 4-3 win in the opening game of their best-of-three regional quarterfinal series in the UIL 5A Region II playoffs.
Ricky Urbano’s bases-loaded infield single into the hole on the left side scored Jake Jarvis from third base in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap a two-run frame and give the Tigers a come-from-behind victory at home.
The walkoff comeback was necessary after the Tigers surrendered a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning when Bowie scored a pair of runs with just one hit, thanks to help from a walk, a fielder’s choice bunt, a sacrifice and throwing error.
But Jarvis, who started on the mound and went the distance in the game, prevented further damage by starting a double play to end the inning. The senior righthander allowed two earned runs on four hits with nine strikeouts in picking up the victory.
Collins had surrendered the lead early in the game, when Joe Davis delivered a one-out RBI double for Bowie in the top of the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
But Jarvis would retire 13 of the next 16 Bulldog batters and would spark the first comeback for the Tigers with a solo home run that led off the bottom of the fourth inning that broke a 1-1 tie.
The Tigers would hang on to the 2-1 lead until the seventh-inning rally by Bowie that set the stage for the heroics in the last at-bat for Collins.
Trailing 3-2, Peyton Yost was hit by a pitch from Bulldog reliever Dustin Jourdan to start the frame. But Jourdan struck out the next two batters before intentionally walking Jarvis to pitch to Joel Rodriguez, who was hitless in three previous at-bats.
Rodriguez jumped on the first pitch from Jourdan and drilled a game-tying double to center that scored pinch-runner James Kuykendall and sent Jarvis to third.
After falling behind in the count to the next batter, Angel DeLaFuente, Jourdan conceded an intentional walk that loaded the bases for Urbano.
The Klein Collins catcher fell behind in the count, 1-2, before stroking a perfectly-placed ground ball that delivered the win that set off a celebration at the Tigers’ home field on the Klein Collins campus.
The victory was the third in a row for Collins, following wins in the final two games of their area round series against Cedar Ridge last weekend.
The series moves to Austin on Friday night with the Tigers looking for a sweep. Should Bowie even the series, the deciding game would be played Saturday at noon in Weimar. The series winner advances to the 5A Region II semifinal round to play the winner of the Plano-Rockwall series.