High School: Cleburne

Jovan Hernadez’s ascent up the pitcher’s mound Friday clearly represented what Rockwall-Heath’s baseball team had worked for the last four years to achieve.

“It was like reaching the summit of a mountain,” Heath coach Greg Harvey said. “We were finally where we’ve been working to go.”

Hernandez’s complete-game, four-hit effort was more than enough to secure Rockwall-Heath’s first baseball state championship Friday at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond. Heath routed North Texas neighbor, Cleburne, 10-1 in the final 4A game of the season.

The win brought back a 4A title to the Metroplex for the first time since 2002.

Hernandez also had a team-high three RBIs on two hits, including a home run, in addition to his stellar pitching effort.

“Jovan went out and threw just an absolute amazing game. He did exactly what we needed him to do. He really just controlled the game from the mound.”

Hernandez’s third-inning homer brought in two RBIs, scoring Clayton Rasbeary after his inning-opening double.

Heath first baseman Timbo Duncan lead his team in hits, going three-for-three with two RBIs.

“We just pounded the ball all night long and all the way up and down the lineup, we had some big hits,” Harvey said.

Heath finished its state championship season 36-9. Rockwall’s annual Fourth of July parade will feature the newly-crowned state champions.

Arlington Martin falls to Houston Cypress Ranch, 6-0

The 5A state title will remain in southern Texas after Arlington Martin was blanked by Houston Cypress Ranch at Dell Diamond on Friday.

Cy Ranch starter Grant Slaughter went the distance, throwing a three-hit, eight-strikeout gem.

Cy Ranch second baseman Bryce Stark drove in a team-high two RBIs with one hit.

Cy Ranch will face College Station A&M Consolidated on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for the 5A state title.

Arl. Martin, Rock.-Heath reach state in baseball

June, 3, 2012
6/03/12
4:21
PM CT
Arlington Martin, Rockwall-Heath and Cleburne were pushed to the limit before winning their best-of-three regional final series to clinch spots in the UIL state baseball tournament.

Martin beat Southlake Carroll 5-2 in Saturday's Game 3 of the Class 5A Region 1 finals. That came after Carroll won Game 2 earlier in the week 2-0 to force the deciding game.

Rockwall-Heath bounced back from a 1-0 blanking against Frisco Wakeland in Game 2 of the Class 4A Region 2 finals to win the clincher 9-2 on Saturday.

Rockwall-Heath will be joined in the 4A state tournament by Cleburne, which beat Waco Midway in three games in the Region 1 finals.

Here is the the UIL baseball state tournament schedule:

WEDNESDAY

1A SEMIFINALS, Round Rock's Dell Diamond
9 a.m. - Price Carlisle (25-2) vs. Fayetteville (19-6)
Noon - Stamford (23-1) vs. Dodd City (27-7)

2A SEMIFINALS, Round Rock's Dell Diamond
4 p.m. - Brock (33-1) vs. Bushland (30-6-1)
7 p.m. - Elkhart (36-4) vs. Jarrell (25-4)

3A SEMIFINALS, UT's Disch-Falk Field
1 p.m. - Sweeny (31-2) vs. West (31-8)
4 p.m. - Robinson (29-2) vs. Texarkana Pleasant Grove (33-5)

THURSDAY

1A FINAL, Round Rock's Dell Diamond
9 a.m. - Price Carlisle/Fayetteville winner vs. Stamford/Dodd City winner

2A FINAL, Round Rock's Dell Diamond
Noon - Brock/Bushland winner vs. Elkhart/Jarrell winner

4A SEMIFINALS, Round Rock's Dell Diamond
4 p.m. - Rockwall-Heath (34-9) vs. Montgomery (29-13)
7 p.m. - Austin Lake Travis (33-10) vs. Cleburne (29-10)

3A FINAL, UT's Disch-Falk Field
6:30 p.m. - Sweeny/West winner vs. Robinson/Texarkana Pleasant Grove winner

FRIDAY

5A SEMIFINALS, Round Rock's Dell Diamond
Noon - Arlington Martin (36-5-1) vs. Houston Cypress Ranch (30-8)
3 p.m. - Corpus Christi Carroll (32-4) vs. College Station A&M Consolidated (28-11)

4A FINAL
7 p.m. - Rockwall-Heath/Montgomery winner vs. Austin Lake Travis/Cleburne winner

SATURDAY

5A FINAL, Round Rock's Dell Diamond
11:30 a.m. - Arlington Martin/Houston Cypress Ranch winner vs. Corpus Christi Carroll/College Station A&M Consolidated winner

Coin flip could be needed for last 2 7-4A spots

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
5:23
PM CT
Four teams remain in contention for two playoff spots in a jumbled District 7-4A.

Six weeks of play has settled only two of the four playoff berths. Mansfield Summit and Everman are in.

There remains a good possibility that a coin flip will be needed decide the final two spots.

The saga will play out Friday evening in four 7-4A stadiums.

Here’s a look by school:

*Summit (8-1, 6-0) is the 7-4A champion.

*Everman (5-3, 4-2) has clinched its 13th consecutive spot going into Friday’s home game against 0-9 Joshua.

*Granbury (5-4, 4-2), which hosts Summit, gets in with a win or a loss by Burleson or Cleburne. A Granbury loss and wins by Burleson and Cleburne would force a coin flip between Granbury, Burleson and Cleburne. A coin flip would be needed because the first two tiebreakers, head-to-head and point differential, are tied.

*Burleson (5-4, 3-3) with a win over Crowley gets in if either of two underdogs win: Joshua over Everman or Arlington Seguin over Cleburne.

*Cleburne (4-5, 3-3) gets in with a win and a Burleson loss to Crowley.

*Seguin (3-6, 2-4) gets in with a win over Cleburne and a Burleson loss to Crowley.

Everman will be in the Division II bracket of the 4A playoffs. Summit will be in Division II if both Burleson and Granbury are the final two playoff teams. If Cleburne or Seguin are in the playoffs, Summit will go Division I.

District 7-4A football season preview

August, 18, 2011
8/18/11
12:01
AM CT
DISTRICT 7-4A
  • Arlington Seguin (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Carlos Lynn.
  • Burleson (5-5, 3-4). Coach: Jason Tucker.
  • Cleburne (1-9, 1-6). Coach: Phil Young.
  • Crowley (5-6, 4-3), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Chris James.
  • Everman (8-3, 7-0), lost in DII bi-district. Coach: Dale Keeling.
  • Granbury (6-5, 4-3), lost in DI bi-district. Coach: Scotty Pugh.
  • Joshua (0-10, 0-7). Coach: Jerry Bird.
  • Mansfield Summit (9-3, 6-1), lost in DI area. Coach: Travis Pride.
THE BIG QUESTION: Are there more final standings surprises in store from 7-4A to compare with the 2010 season?

When the dust settled in a reshuffled District 7-4A last season, Everman and Mansfield Summit finished in the top two spots as expected. Everman came into the season having won at least nine games in 10 straight seasons and Summit was dropping down from a pretty successful run in Class 5A.

But it would have been difficult to predict the third and fourth playoff spots would go to Crowley and Granbury.

Crowley, coming off a 3-7 season, hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2001. But that drought was nothing compared to Granbury, where the last previous playoff excursion came in 1977. Granbury was 1-9 in 2009 and 0-10 in 2008.

For teams like Burleson and Arlington Seguin that finished only a game out of third place, or even for one-win Cleburne or winless Joshua, the Crowley and Granbury success stories could prove inspirational this fall.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

DB Steven Aikens, DL Devante Richardson, Arlington Seguin; QB Barrett Cain, OL Derek Baldeschwiler, Burleson; WR Cooper Walls, Cleburne; LB Kyron Minter, RB Larry Cheeks, Crowley; LB Lincoln Richard, QB Devynn Birdow, DE Jacob Kennedy, Everman; RB Brandon Davis, OL Johnny Shepard, OL Jason Shepard, Granbury; RB/DB Riley Davis, Joshua; LB Micah Awe, DL Cortez Harris, DL Jacolby Robinson, Mansfield Summit.

DID YOU KNOW?

Everman’s first-round playoff exit snapped a string of five straight seasons in which it advanced at least to the third round. ... Granbury offensive lineman Johnny Shepard was named Class 4A all-state second team. ... Cleburne’s Cooper Walls, an all-district selection, is the top returning receiver statistically with 663 yards and four touchdowns. ... Crowley running back Larry Cheeks is the district’s leading returning rusher after gaining 1,121 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2010. ... Burleson quarterback Barrett Cain returns after a frustrating 2010 when he missed nine games with an injury. ... Everman, known to favor the run over pass, has the top returning passer in Devynn Birdow. He threw for 998 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

PROJECTED PLAYOFF TEAMS
  1. Everman
  2. Arlington Seguin
  3. Mansfield Summit
  4. Crowley

Burleson, Cleburne renew rivalry as district foes

September, 27, 2010
9/27/10
8:34
PM CT
Burleson and Cleburne, Johnson County neighbors separated by 17 miles, will collide in a district football game Friday for the first time since 2001.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Cleburne’s Yellow Jacket Stadium.

Burleson (2-2, 0-1 in District 7-4A) has seen its point production drop each week of the season. In a district opener last week, Mansfield Summit beat the Elks, 21-7, limiting them to 211 yards.

It has been a rough start for Cleburne (0-4, 0-1 in 7-4A.) The Jackets’ four defeats have come by an average of 27.5 points. Granbury beat Cleburne, 33-7, in last week’s district opener.

Senior quarterback Corey Bailey, who scored Burleson’s only touchdown against Summit, has thrown for 368 yards while completing 57 percent of his passes. Amery Duncan is the Elks’ leading rusher with 381 yards and the touchdown leader with five.

Cooper Walls has been a big weapon for Cleburne so far with 20 pass receptions for 273 yards and two touchdowns. L.J. Holmes is the rushing leader with 494 yards and three touchdowns.

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