Plano West’s bid for a second Class 5A state baseball championship in three years ended with a 4-3 loss to Klein in a state tournament semifinal Friday afternoon at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond.
Plano West (25-13-2), the 2008 5A champion, rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the score, 3-3, after six innings.
Klein’s Hank Morgan delivered a two-out single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh for the winning run.
Klein (33-6), ranked No. 10 nationally by ESPN RISE, will face Corpus Christi Carroll, a 4-3 winner over Fort Bend Clements, in Saturday’s noon state championship game.
Three Klein pitchers held Plano West’s power-laden lineup to five hits, all singles.
Reliever Rob Tasin, who worked a scoreless top of the seventh, was credited with the win.
Robert Huber, who pitched into the seventh for Plano West, took the loss.
Huber walked Tasin to lead off the seventh and was replaced by Andrew Blum after throwing 120 pitches. After a strikeout, Eric Fisher singled. An error loaded the bases, but Blum recorded another strikeout, setting the stage for Morgan’s winning hit.
Klein starting pitcher Clayton Crum walked eight, but allowed only two hits in five innings. Crum walked the bases loaded in the sixth and was replaced by Evan Rutter.
Clint Rupp, Blum and Toran Tillitson had RBI singles to tie the score.
Two bunt singles helped Klein load the bases in the third inning for Mitchell Nau, who doubled for a 2-0 lead. Fisher added a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead.
Plano West failed to score in the first after loading the bases with one out. The Wolves left nine runners on base.