Georgetown routed in 5A title game

Colleyville Heritage rolls to 14-2 victory, first state baseball championship

Rick Cantu
Colleyville Heritage players pile on top of pitcher Chandler Freeman after defeating Georgetown to win the Class 5A state baseball championship Saturday. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

ROUND ROCK — Georgetown reached the state baseball title game with speed, great pitching and a knack for getting hits when it mattered most.

On Saturday, the Eagles were 0-for-3 in those fundamentals.

Colleyville Heritage hammered five Georgetown pitchers and cruised to a 14-2 victory over the Eagles in the UIL Class 5A state championship game at Dell Diamond. The game was called after the sixth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.

It was the first state baseball championship for Heritage (39-3). Georgetown (41-5-1) was seeking its first state title.

With silvers medals draped around their neck, the Eagles were left pondering how everything fell apart on a cloudless 90-degree day.

“I wasn’t crazy shocked (about the outcome) because they have some really good players,” Georgetown starting pitcher Jack Brinley said. “I just didn’t think it would get out of hand that fast. Their hits were falling in every pocket they could find. Today was a good day for them and a rough day for us.”

It was a particularly good day for game MVP Joey Koetting. Batting ninth in the order, the senior second baseman had two hits, knocked in three runs and scored three times.

Before Saturday, Georgetown had not been beaten this spring by more than six runs. Heritage finished with 18 hits, a Class 5A championship game record.

“We didn’t have an answer for their bats today,” veteran Eagles coach Adam Foster said. “They played better than we did, and that’s part of winning and losing. I told them before the game you have to show up and play better than them. For a while I thought we had a chance. When they started steamrolling with those bats, we didn’t have an answer for them.”

Considering the final score, it is hard to imagine that Georgetown had a 2-0 lead after the first inning. A two-run single by senior right fielder Noah Thompson gave the sea of blue-clad Eagles fans reason to cheer … and feel optimistic.

Heritage’s 14 runs were the most Georgetown had yielded in 47 games.

Heritage erupted for four runs with two outs in the second. The key blast was a bases-clearing double by Koetting. He scored on a single by outfielder Logan Britt to give the Panthers a 4-2 edge.

Georgetown’s Brinley, who entered the game 12-0, was pulled in the third inning after giving up six hits and four earned runs. Relief pitcher Braxton Pearson, who was almost perfect during the playoffs, was removed during Heritage’s six-run fifth inning. A two-run triple by Heritage first baseman Chandler Freeman was the crushing blow.

Despite the loss, Foster said the season was a success, especially for the 15 seniors who played their final game in blue and white. The Eagles won District 18-5A with an unbeaten record and once had a 23-game winning streak. They matched the 2015 team, which also lost in the state finals.

Thompson, wearing a silver medal as he walked out of the home dugout for the last time, said the experience of the journey will outweigh the hurt of the game.

“It’s not the way we wanted it to end, but we’ve made brothers for life,” he said. “It’s been a heck of a ride.”