Tigers even series with Strake Jesuit on Laxton walk-off

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 5/28/22

“It was huge to get this momentum,” Laxton said. “I was telling them before the game, we win this game and we are looking good. Momentum is one of the biggest things in sports and there’s just no better team to do it with.”

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Tigers even series with Strake Jesuit on Laxton walk-off

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Katy seems to thrive in the eighth inning.

Last week, the Tigers advanced to the regional semifinals with a walk-off by Sutton Hull in the eighth inning of a game against Taylor.

Less than a week later, Katy was at it again. As the Tigers went into extras with their season on the line once again.

Katy was up against Strake Jesuit and the Crusaders had taken the first game of the regional semifinal series 2-1, leaving Katy in a do or die situation in game two. Katy responded by taking the game into extras.

It was Graham Laxton that played the part of hero this time, as the junior delivered a walk-off single to give the Tigers a 3-2 win and take the series to a winner take all game three on Saturday.

“I was just looking to catch a barrel,” Laxton said. “It was a new pitcher that just came in so we hadn’t seen him too much, but my teammates did a good job telling me what to look for, I saw something over the plate and I’m just really glad I was able to get a barrel to it.”

Laxton led the way for the Tigers by going 2-3 at the plate and driving in two of the three Tigers runs while Katy’s pitching kept the team in it throughout. Caleb Koger started and went 4.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out two before Brayden Powers came in and went 3.2 inning, striking out six and walking one without allowing a run to pick up the win.

“They both were so huge tonight,” Laxton said. “Caleb came in and pitched a really strong game and then Brayden came in and absolutely closed the door. The pitching has been great all year long and I trust our guys to get it done out there every single time.”

Strake Jesuit came out of the gates swinging and picked up their first run in the top of the first inning, getting a triple and a sacrifice grounder to make things 1-0. Koger bounced back not allowing the run over the next two innings, and Katy found its response in the third. Katy got a runner on in the third with a single by Parker Kidwell, who ended up advancing to second on a steal, Jhonnatan Ferrebus then tied the game on an RBI single.

The Tigers then took the lead in the fourth, with Dominic Melchor hitting a triple to get in scoring position and Laxton driving him in and giving Katy the lead on a single.

Katy got into trouble in the fifth inning, as Trey Duffield hit a solo home run to tie tings at two and two more players got on base. But Katy went to the bullpen, and Powers stepped up in relief, striking out the last two batters of the inning to keep things tied.

“Every pitch in my head I just thought, I’m going to dominate,” Powers said. “That’s what I told myself is I’m going to dominate every pitch. I kept that mentality the whole time and it paid off.”

Neither team could find a run in the last two innings, leading to the game going to extra innings, where Katy found a way again.

Reese Rudderman reached on an error to start the inning before Judson Ceyanes walked, bringing Laxton to the plate, who hit a line drive to left to hand the Tigers the win.

Katy will now have to take that momentum into the third game of the series, 1 p.m. Saturday at Jersey Village, and the players are confident.

“It was huge to get this momentum,” Laxton said. “I was telling them before the game, we win this game and we are looking good. Momentum is one of the biggest things in sports and there’s just no better team to do it with.”

Katy, Strake Jesuit, baseball, Katy ISD, sports, playoffs, Graham Laxton

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