ROUND ROCK — There was little doubt that the New Deal Lions (29-4) were the No. 1-ranked team in the state in Class 2A for a reason. The Lions could have been called the “Real Deal.” But after pounding No. 5 Shiner 14-1 in the semifinals and facing a Garrison squad that was struggling with injuries, the 2021 UIL Class 2A State Championship game was anything but a rout, as the Bulldogs battled before falling to Lions, 7-2, Thursday afternoon at Dell Diamond.

Despite coming into the game with a season-best 20-game winning streak, the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs (29-9) were shorthanded. Senior outfielder Freddy Christopher was injured in the Region III Final series with a shoulder injury, but was playing through the pain. Junior outfielder Regan Todd injured his hip against Rivercrest in the regional final and had to miss the state tournament.

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