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Photo courtesy Dr. Jerome Stewart

West’s Bing stifles Maypearl bats, forces game 3 in 3A Regional championship

By Travis M. Smith | Ellis County Sports

CLEBURNE — Kade Bing was simply too much for the Maypearl Panthers on Friday evening in game two of the 3A Region III championship. 

Bing, a 6-foot-1 left-handed senior, struck out 13 Panthers in the 4-1 West victory at Cleburne High School. He scattered three hits with one walk over his seven-inning complete-game win. 

Bing had Tommy John surgery on March 2, 2022, and has slowly worked back into the (30-7) West rotation throughout the Trojans’ run to the regional championship series. 

Cord Rager (4-1, 1.75 ERA) took the loss in game two for the Panthers. Despite not allowing a hit, Rager allowed 7 free passes (5 BB, 2 HBP) and three earned runs over 3.1 IP. 

West ultimately needed just 4 hits to scratch all 4 runs. The Trojans did work three Maypearl pitchers over for 8 base-on-balls and 5 hit-by-pitches. 

Maypearl (29-10) won game one of the regional championship series, 2-0, behind Tanner Terry’s no-hit effort on the bump.  

Game three is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday at Cleburne High School. The winner will advance to the 3A state tournament. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

Maypearl took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Baley Ray tripled to centerfield, scoring Heath Graf from first base. Bing struck out the next two Panthers to strand Ray at third and escape the inning. 

West had a leadoff runner reach via walk in the bottom half of the third, only to be picked off by Rager for the first out in the inning. A second free pass put a Trojan back on first with one out. And a third in the inning put runners on second and third, forcing a trip to the mound by head coach Jeremy Roberson. 

It marked only the second time in the series for the Trojans to have a base runner reach second base. 

Rager promptly recorded a strikeout but plunked his second batter of the inning on a full count to load the bases with two outs. 

The Cole Rager, the elder Rager, then made an incredible catch, sprinting from his shortstop position to make the grab on the run just two steps from the left-field line.

The Panthers went down quietly in order in the top of the fourth. 

A second Roberson mound visit came in the bottom half of the fourth inning when Rager issued his fifth free pass. The sixth Rager walk came four pitches later, prompting a Panther pitching change to bring on Heath Graf (3-0, 1.41 ERA) with Trojans on first and second with one out.

Jacob Boggs delivered the first West hit of the series with a double down the right field line to tie the game at 1. The two-bagger put runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the fourth, ending the no-hit streak at 10.1 innings. 

Graf walked the ensuing Trojan hitter to load the bases and bring Roberson back out of the dugout for a second pitching change.

Baley Ray (4-1, 1.55 ERA) took over on the mound with the bases juiced and just one away in the fourth.

Four pitches later, Easton Paxton thought — key word — he had taken ball four. As he jogged to first base, the Trojan on first made his way to second and was quickly tagged out after a heads-up throw by Maypearl catcher Tyson Brooks to Rager at first base. 

Paxton returned to the batter’s box with two outs and first base open. A wild pitch plated a second West run and put runners on the corners. Easton Rinewalt singled to right field to score the third and fourth runs but was gunned down attempting to stretch his double into a triple for the final out.

West carried a 4-1 lead into the top of the fifth inning. Bing took care of the rest, retiring the Panthers in order over the final three innings.  

____

Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith

tsmith@elliscosports.com

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith is the owner and content director of Ellis County Sports and has over a decade of award-winning sports coverage. He most recently served as the digital sports director for KBEC 1390AM/99.1FM. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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