The last time the Brock Eagles were shut out of a game in 2019 (a 1-0 loss to Boyd in mid April), the team was still in the thick of district play.
Brock had posted a 10-0 record since that abovementioned loss heading into Thursday’s Class 3A regional semifinal opener with the Bushland Falcons.
Unfortunately, a late, six-run Bushland rally and six strikeout performance by Falcons’ starting pitcher Skyler Jaco ended that win streak.
Jaco and Eagles’ starter Cooper Nelson each came out strong in game one, with both pitchers earning three outs in the other squad’s first four at bats in the first inning.
Both Brock and Bushland went three up, three down in the second.
An RBI double by Jaco in the bottom of the third drove in two runs, giving the Falcons the first lead of the day.
However, the Eagles kept their composure, with Nelson closing out the frame with a strikeout during the Falcons’ next at bat.
The game regained the feeling of a defensive duel, with neither team scoring in the fourth or fifth innings.
That narrative quickly changed in the bottom of the sixth, once again at the hands of Jaco, who opened the inning with a double to center field.
The hit kickstarted a Bushland rally which put up six runs in the frame, coming on an RBI double and trio of RBI singles.
The Falcons’ first six batters of the inning got on base before a pop out to Brock first baseman Jase Lopez gave the latter its first out.
After escaping the bottom of the sixth, Brock, which had put up 49 combined runs in its first three playoff series, returned to the plate desperately needing a spark.
The team would not get it, as the Eagles’ first three batters of the frame were retired (ground out, ground out and pop out).
Bushland totaled nine hits, compared to three by Brock, two of which came from Quinton Boedeker who finished 2-for-2 at the plate.
Jaxson Gleaton added one hit for the Eagles.
Nelson finished with five strikeouts on the mound while walking one.
Like their school’s counterparts on the softball field (who suffered their first postseason defeat of 2019 Wednesday), the Eagles head into game two in a position they had previously managed to avoid during their playoff run.
Game two starts at noon today at Iowa Park High School, with game three (if needed) starting at 2 p.m. Saturday (also at Iowa Park HS).