Former Salado baseball coach Chad Krempin, who guided the Eagles to the Class 4A state-title game in 2016, now leads the team at Rouse. On Friday, the Raiders clinched a berth in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals. CREDIT: Andy Sharp/For the ...and more »
The Rouse baseball team’s remarkable turnaround season will continue for at least another week after the Raiders rallied to win a best-of-three area-round playoff series Friday night.
After a mercy rule-shortened 13-2 victory in Game 2 of the series, the Raiders beat Bryan 4-1 in Game 3 at East View High. Considering what the Raiders have accomplished this season, though, overcoming a series-opening 2-0 loss to the Vikings might have been one of the lesser challenges they have faced.
Rouse, which finished 3-23 a year ago and didn’t win a game in District 13-6A, claimed a share of the 19-5A title this spring. But don’t assume that the Raiders’ drop to Class 5A as a result of UIL realignment helped them that much. Their new district is one of the toughest Class 5A districts in the state, as evidenced by the fact that two of its teams — Rouse and Cedar Park — have reached the regional quarterfinals.
Rouse’s first-year coach, Chad Krempin, who led Salado to the Class 4A state title game a year ago, credits the Raiders’ talent-laden roster, which includes a pair of University of Texas pledges as well as some seniors starved for victories.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant in any way, but I’ve always been able to bond with kids and make a connection with kids,” Krempin said. “I show them that I care and that I have a plan and there’s a process to becoming a good baseball team.
“Kids want to win. Set the expectations high, love on them a little bit, and they’ll produce.”
Rouse (26-6-1) certainly produced against Bryan (19-13-1) in Game 3. Raiders sophomore pitcher Jared Southard, one of the club’s UT pledges, shook off a rough start to allow just one hit and one run over six innings. A pep talk from Krempin after Southard hit one batter and walked another appeared to calm the 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander.
The Bryan players “were geared up … over there in their dugout,” Krempin said. “They’re going to be loud and yelling and all that stuff, but it reminded me of one of my favorite baseball movies, ‘For Love of the Game.’ You have to quiet all that stuff down and see the glove.
“But that’s easier said than done. Jared did a good job of it. He pitched really well. I was surprised, honestly, that he looked the way he did in the first inning and was able to come back and pitch that successfully. He’s got a bright future.”
So does freshman Dalton Porter, another Texas pledge, who was 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored in the deciding game.
“I’ve had some good freshmen over the years, but he’s something else,” Krempin said. “He just continues to produce against very good teams.”
Devin Hooper gave the Raiders their first lead with a third-inning RBI single, and Rouse added two more runs in the sixth inning on RBI singles by Southard and Devin Tucker.
Klein Collins 3, Cedar Ridge 1: Cedar Ridge’s first trip to the UIL postseason in three years ended with the Raiders being swept in a Class 6A area-round series.
As in its previous two postseason appearances, Cedar Ridge fell to Klein Collins in the second round. The teams’ latest playoff matchup ended with Collins starter Chris Benavides limiting the Raiders (20-13) to four hits over six innings Saturday.
Cedar Ridge’s lone run came in the sixth inning when Kendall Achilles singled and advanced to third base on a pair of wild pitches before scoring on a groundout. Benavides avoided any more trouble before being relieved by Jack Rogers, who closed out the victory as Collins advanced to a third-round matchup against Round Rock.
• Class 6A
Hendrickson vs. Klein Oak: Game 1, Oak 3, Hendrickson 0; Game 2, Hendrickson 4, Oak 3; Game 3, Hendrickson 5-3
Lake Travis vs. S.A. Brandeis: Game 1, Brandeis 2, Lake Travis 0; Game 2, Lake Travis 2, Brandeis 1; Game 3, Lake Travis 7-4
Round Rock vs. Houston Memorial: Game 1, Round Rock 9-2; Game 2, Round Rock 11-1
Cedar Ridge vs. Klein Collins: Game 1, Collins 5-4; Game 2, Collins 3-1
Anderson vs. Klein: Game 1, Anderson 3-2; Game 2, Klein 1-0; Game 3, Anderson 2, Klein 1
• Class 5A
Rouse vs. Bryan: Game 1, Bryan 2, Rouse 0; Game 2, Rouse 13, Bryan 2; Game 3, Rouse 4, Bryan 1
Cedar Park vs. Temple: Game 1, Cedar Park 4-3; Game 2, Temple 5-2; Game 3, Cedar Park 2-0
Dripping Springs vs. Victoria East: Game 1, Victoria East 6-3; Game 2, Dripping Springs 8-2; Game 3, Dripping Springs 14-4
• Class 4A
Salado 4, Athens 3
Giddings vs. China Spring: Game 1, China Spring 6-4; Game 2, China Spring 4-3
Liberty Hill vs. Madisonville: Game 1, Liberty Hill 2-1; Game 2, Madisonville 5-2; Game 3, Liberty Hill 8-0
Wimberley vs. Columbus: Game 1, Wimberley 2-0; Game 2, Columbus 10-2; Game 3, Wimberley 5-0
Taylor vs. Robinson: Game 1, Robinson 5-2; Game 2, Robinson 11-4
• Class 3A
Lago Vista 8, Edna 1
Gateway Prep vs. Boling: Game 1, Gateway Prep 7-1; Game 2, Gateway Prep 8-7
• Class 2A
Thorndale vs. Iola: Game 1, Thorndale 10-0; Game 2, Thorndale 8-4
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