GRAND PRAIRIE — In a series matching two evenly matched teams, it’s easy to believe the difference would come down to one bunt.
Hurst L.D. Bell second baseman John Mark Garner squared for a safety squeeze that scored the game- and series-winning run as Bell beat Colleyville Heritage 5-2 in Game 3 of Class 5A regional quarterfinal.
With the score tied 2-2 in the fifth inning, Garner’s bunt trickled to Heritage pitcher Sam Kaskovich, who quickly threw home. Bell base runner Chris Adams collided with catcher Corey Althouse, sending the ball flying to the backstop. Jordan Morgan also scored.
“That’s our game,” Bell coach Paul Gibson said. “We play on a big field with the wind blowing in. That stuff we work on a lot. A lot of small ball and hopefully a big hit when we can get it.”
Bell (21-21) scored again in the five-run fifth on a single by Caleb Rose.
The rally was in response to a two-run first inning by Heritage (24-15) on an RBI single by Alex Alvarenga.
Bell starting pitcher Bryce Kidwell would face one more than the minimum in the final two innings to seal Bell’s trip to the fourth round of the playoffs.
Kidwell pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out seven.
“I’m really proud of Bryce Kidwell and the game he threw,” Gibson said. “I told him when he came off after the first inning, ‘You throw like that, you’re going to make a name for yourself.’”
Bell will face Arlington Martin in the regional semifinals in a best-of-three series at TCU.
Game 1 and 2 will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and Game 3, if necessary, will also begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
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