By TONY EIERDAM
Playing into the third round of the 2013 Class A baseball playoffs, the Santo Wildcats fell to state-ranked No. 3 Bosqueville in two games of their best-of-three series.
But the series loss did not take away from a successful season as Santo finished with a 15-7 overall record, an outright District 10-A title and an area championship.
As district champions, the Wildcats – who played just 18 regular season games because of a long run in the basketball playoffs – earned a first-round bye and then defeated Goldwaithe for the area championship in the second round of the playoffs.
But this past weekend the Wildcats’ season came to an end as state-ranked No. 3 Bosqueville swept the ‘Cats with wins of 12-0 and 14-5 in a best-of-three regional quarterfinal series that was played Friday and Saturday at Granbury High School.
“We worked hard all year, and these kids deserve everything they have earned,” Wildcats head coach Brandon Young said. “I am really proud of them.”
Santo will lose just two starters to graduation – ace pitcher Christopher Hoover and pitcher/outfielder/athlete Zane Mauney.
“We have a young team and we feel we have started a tradition at Santo,” Young said. “I feel we will do good things in the future.
“This run in the playoffs will give our kids confidence for the future, and they hung in this series with a very good baseball team.”
Baseball will not be the only sport at Santo that will miss Mauney, one of the better athletes at the school. He was also an all-district quarterback on the football team and a guard in basketball.
“Zane was the backbone of our offense,” Young said. “He is a great center fielder who covers a lot of ground. He will be really missed.”
Mauney said he has had an enjoyable four-year run at the school, and added he really enjoyed the 2013 baseball season. He said the team forged a strong bond this season.
“This is a sad, bittersweet moment,” Mauney said. “I have been with these guys every day since February, and we feel like we are a family.
“But I feel sad right now, not only because it is my last game, but also because it is the last time I will get to play with these guys.
“It really has not hit home yet. But I have had a blast playing all of the sports at Santo. I have been blessed to play for some great coaches, and it has been fun.”
Hoover had an outstanding senior season where he racked up 99 strikeouts, including eight in relief in three innings in game two Saturday against Bosqueville.
“Christopher battled hard,” Young said. “He threw more than 80 pitches Friday night, and (Saturday) he told me he could go three more innings if we needed him.
“I am so proud of him. He was throwing strikes and making his pitches.”
Young had one final thought moments after the season ended in Granbury.
“I am so proud of our team, our school and our parents,” he said. “This has been a community effort, and I am ready for next year.”
By TONY EIERDAM
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