ROUND ROCK — After opening up a 7-1 lead against No. 2-ranked Bosqueville in the top of the third inning of Wednesday night’s UIL Class 2A State Semifinal game at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, the Garrison Bulldogs found out that BHS was not about to go away without a fight.

But thanks to play of a reserve outfielder who started the game and gave Garrison a much-needed jumpstart, and a senior pitcher who came out of the ‘bullpen’ to pick up the critical win, Garrison (29-8) held on and made the plays down the stretch for a 7-6 win.

Bosqueville saw its season end with a 35-4 record.

Garrison junior Chalon Driver, who hadn’t received much playing time this season, was called upon to start the semifinal game when Regan Todd went down with an injury last week.

He came through with a strong effort, not only on defense, with a putout, but finished the semifinal with a 1-for-3 effort at the dish, while driving in a pair of runs. In his first at-bat of the night, during a four-run top of the first for GHS, he fouled off six pitches in a 14-pitch at-bat, before slamming a double to left-center field to drive in two of the four Garrison runs in the frame and get the team off to a fast start.

“It was great that we capitalized early on (Bosqueville) because when they brought their left-hander in the game he was really good and we struggled to put runners on base,” said Garrison head coach Dempsey Compton.

“It was good that we did what we did in the first three innings.

”Chalon was tremendous! He’s been waiting for a chance and then he capitalized on it and that was big for us.”{/span}

Compton had said last week that his Bulldogs were going to do whatever it takes to win the semifinal game because the squad has to get to the championship round before winning it. That included pitching.

Senior Dayton Dewberry (11-0) started the game on the bump for Garrison, but struggled with the flatter mound and the smoother ball used at the state tournament, according to Compton. He also struggled with his strike zone. Dewberry did work three frames, allowing four earned runs (5 total) on five hits, with four walks and three strikeouts.

Although he was hoping to save his other ace for the title game, Compton turned to Tyler Spivey to get the job done in the final four innings. Spivey (11-1) picked up the win, allowing one unearned run on just two hits, with five strikeouts and no walks.

Now his status for Thursday on the mound is uncertain because he was used extensively on Wednesday.

“I said we were going to do everything in our power to win Wednesday, because you can’t play in the championship if you don’t win the semifinal. We’ll have to see what we can piece together (as far as pitchers) for the championship.”

Compton said fans could see four or more pitchers from his staff in the season finale.

Spivey said he didn’t want to pitch, but did what he could to help his team win.

“As (Dayton) was struggling, I was first making sure to encourage him and help him any way I could and be a good teammate,” Spivey said. “But, unfortunately, I had to come in.

”Dayton pitched some great innings for us and gave us a number of strikeouts, but as the game went on I had to prepare myself knowing (Bosqueville) had good hitters and I had to hit my spots and come in and throw the best I could.”

Leading 7-1 in the top of the third, Garrison saw Bosqueville score four runs in the bottom of the third and add a run in the fourth. But the potential tying and winning runs reached base in the seventh because of a GHS error and a fielder’s choice with no outs. Then two outs later the pair was standing on second and third. But Spivey forced a ground out to shortstop to end the threat and capture the win.

Now its on to the championship.

”It’s not going to be hard to get these kids up for tomorrow’s game,” Compton said. “They’ve been waiting all year for this opportunity and to play for this championship. These guys have a no-quit attitude. They have the theory of it’s never over until the fat coach sings.

”They’ll be ready.”

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