By CLINT FOSTER
With the score tied at four and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tuesday night at Pratt Field, sophomore McCain Mason stepped up to bat with the bases loaded.
The talented, young utility player had only registered one hit in his previous eight at bats, but with the game against the pesky Castleberry Lions on the line on senior night, head coach Bret Barrick and the rest of the Mineral Wells Rams needed Mason to come through with a bunt to bring the speedy Braxton Allen home from third base and win the game.
The Rams had already learned in the middle of the fourth inning that Springtown had defeated Kennedale, thus securing the District 6-3A championship for Mineral Wells regardless of a win or loss – the Rams held the tie-breaker over second-place Kennedale thanks to a season sweep.
But these Rams wanted nothing short of an outright district championship and it was clear, after a five-inning pitching battle and sudden scoring surge, it would take some late-game heroics to do it.
Mason squared around for a bunt once ... strike one. He tried a second time ... strike two.
Now behind in the count, Barrick told Mason to just choke up on the bat and put the ball in play.
The sophomore delivered, hitting a towering sacrifice fly into right field that allowed Allen to tag up and slide into home for the walkoff run.
"I'm feeling extremely humbled," Mason said after the win. "I'd never choked up on a bat before. I was like, 'I've got to do the job. It's time to quit being selfish.' God blessed me with that RBI. I just choked up on the bat and it happened my way. It was a great experience."