BELTON — With their team one strike from victory, Temple fans were applauding in anticipation of Reid Hesse’s pitch to Cedar Park’s Austin Hewitt. In a blink — or a bloop — it all unraveled for the Wildcats minutes later at Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Red Murff Field.
Hewitt dropped a shallow single into right field, unleashing a sequence Temple must soon forget if it wants to keep its season going.
The Timberwolves, who had just one hit through six innings Thursday night, picked up four in their last at-bat off Hesse and reliever Eli Mendoza, capitalized on a trio of defensive lapses, and Austin Silguero’s single to right scored Lane Holman as Cedar Park stunned Temple with a 4-3 come-from-behind triumph in Game 1 of the teams’ best-of-three Class 5A area-round series.
“It’s disappointing. We had that one,” Temple coach Toby Rumfield said. “We’ll cringe for a long time on that one.”
The Wildcats (20-9), who had a three-game winning streak snapped, have about a day and a half to dwell on what might have been before facing a do-or-die Game 2 at 1 p.m. Saturday back at UMHB. If Temple manages to even the series, Game 3 would follow. Cedar Park (24-7) won two straight after dropping its bi-district opener and advanced. Temple now must do the same.