Jesuit couldn’t beat the rain, but it overcame Humble Atascocita on Saturday to earn a return trip to the Class 6A state tournament.
After inclement weather on Friday caused the Region II final series to be shortened to a single game, the Rangers pulled away late for a 9-1 victory in Austin to qualify for their second consecutive venture to Round Rock.
Another stellar complete-game effort by lefthander Jacob Palisch propelled the Rangers (34-8) against the Eagles (29-9), while the offense broke open a close game with seven runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Palisch recorded 13 strikeouts and allowed just three hits in a game that was tied at 1-1 in the second inning when it was suspended on Friday night. When the game resumed on Saturday morning, Palisch hurled six shutout innings.
Kyle Muller, a Texas signee and likely early-round pick in Thursday’s MLB draft, didn’t see any action on the mound, but he did contribute at the plate with three hits, including a triple. Mark Ready and Jared Kengott drove in two runs apiece, while Bryce Bonner added two hits for the Rangers.
After falling in the state semifinals in their state debut last season, Jesuit hopes that experience will yield better results this time around. And the Rangers certainly are battle-tested, having won six times when facing elimination during their postseason run.
The shortened series against Atascocita also could prove valuable at state, where both rounds consist of a single game. The semifinals are slated for June 10, with matchups still to be determined.