Seven Lakes holds on for win over Cinco Ranch, breaks tie for fourth in district

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 4/22/22

“We have to keep doing what we have been doing and forget about the wins and the losses in the past,” Climie said. “The most important thing is to go out there and play and have fun. We have nothing to lose.”

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Seven Lakes holds on for win over Cinco Ranch, breaks tie for fourth in district

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Seven Lakes knew the situation going into Friday.

A win over Cinco Ranch, and their chances of making the playoffs would go up dramatically, a loss, and the season would be all but over with two games remaining.

The Spartans had lost the opening meeting to Cinco 9-5, but they were confident heading into the game and they knew it would be an entirely different matchup than the first go round.

“I told the guys before the game, stay within yourself and do what you do best,” said Seven Lakes head coach J.R. Voyles said. “They knew they didn’t need to try to be the hero and they could pass it on to the next guys. That was the gameplan, just do your job and let the next guy do their job.”

Seven Lakes did just that, winning 7-6 over the Cougars to break a tie for fourth place in District 19-6A with just two games remaining on the schedule.

It was a do or die situation for the Spartans, if Cinco Ranch had won the Cougars would have owned the tiebreaker between the two.

“It was such a huge win for us,” said freshman pitcher Nathan Johnson. “If we lost this it would have been so hard for us to make the playoffs, so we knew how important it was going in. It’s just a great feeling to get this win and stay in it.”

Johnson was huge on the mound for the Spartans, he overcame a jittery first inning and two errors by the Spartans in the second and still went four innings, allowing one earned run to help the team to a win.

“It’s crazy how he just keeps his composure through everything,” senior third baseman Cade Climie said. “When I was a freshman playing on varsity, it was pretty scary these big moments, but he handles the pressure better than anyone out here and he threw a great game. That was huge for all of us.”
Cinco took the lead in the top of the first, when Gavin Rutherford hit an RBI single deep to center field. Seven Lakes though had the immediate answer, with Ryan Franden leading off the bottom of the first with a double and Climie then hitting a single to tie things, the Spartans then took the lead on a Cinco Ranch error.

Cinco tied things in the top of the seventh, getting two runners on base from errors and then getting a run across on a sacrifice fly from TJ Hughes. But Seven lakes regained the lead in the bottom of the inning, with Carter Sanchez scoring on a wild pitch.

The Spartans then broke things open in the fourth. After loading the bases, Cinco walked in a run, then Carlos Michinaux drove in a run on a single and Johnson to the plate and helped himself offensively, driving in two with a single to left field and making it 7-2.

“The biggest thing for them was to be selective on when they swung, and being aggressive on the bases when the ball was in the dirt,” Voyles said. “Whenever we had a shot to score we were aggressive with it. We let things come to us, but when it was time for that aggression to go up we were able to turn it on. That paid off for us tonight.”

Things stayed that way until the top of the seventh, when Cinco Ranch was almost able to put together a comeback. Two runners reached base to start the inning, before Gavin Rutherford hit a home run to drive in three and trim the Seven Lakes lead to two runs. Two more runners reached base and Zach Franco hit a single, making it a one run game. Eric Eckstrom then made solid contact on a line drive towards third base, but Climie made a terrific catch to record the out and end the game. Giving Seven Lakes a one game lead on the last playoff spot in district heading into the last week of the regular season.

“It felt great, just such a great feeling,” Cliimie said. “When it came off the bat I was wondering to myself, ‘dang, am I going to have to jump here?’ But I watched it in and it hit the glove and I was just like ‘I caught it.’ Everyone started going crazy and rushing the field, it just felt good.”

Seven Lakes will face off with two of the top three teams in district next week in Katy and Taylor and know how important getting a win from one of those two games would be. Two losses would likely lead to a play in game for that final playoff spot against Cinco, but a win would in all likelihood clinch a playoff berth for the team.

“We have to keep doing what we have been doing and forget about the wins and the losses in the past,” Climie said. “The most important thing is to go out there and play and have fun. We have nothing to lose.”

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