Legacy ace nearly no-hits Frenship

By BRENT SHIRLEY

ABILENE – Mansfield Legacy wanted its Region I-4A semifinal against Frenship to be a one-game playoff. On Friday night, it was easy to see why.

A pair of Mansfield Legacy players dominated the first game of the best-of-three series, leading the Broncos to a 6-0 win.

Mansfield Legacy pitcher Noah Syndergaard struck out 14 and came within one out of a no-hitter. Pinch hitter Rudy Garza belted a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game out of reach.

“I felt good from the first inning,” said Syndergaard, a Dallas Baptist signee who is now 4-0 in the playoffs. “I just went out and got into a rhythm.”

Several pro scouts were on hand watching Syndergaard, a 6-foot-5 righthander, and his final pitch of the game was clocked by one at 96 mph.

Frenship coach Chad Reynolds said he was just as impressed by his pitcher, Chas Quisenberry, who threw four scoreless innings before giving up that grand slam.

“It was fun to watch those pitchers go at it,” Reynolds said.

Frenship (21-20) won a flip to make the playoff a best-of-three. Now the Tigers must win twice starting at 4 p.m. today to keep their season alive.

The Broncos (26-13) grabbed the lead early, scoring two runs in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Andrew Jacobi hit the ball down the right-field line to start the rally.

While the Broncos scored twice – on an error and wild pitch – Jacobi’s single was the only hit until James Tamakian and Tejay Antone singled in the sixth.

“If we didn’t get those runs early, the game would have been completely different,” Legacy coach David Walden said. “They were huge.”

Tanner Houston walked to load the bases for Legacy. Walden’s decision to use Garza as a pinch hitter proved sound as Garza’s home run easily cleared the wall in left field.

“It felt really good off my bat,” Garza said. “When I saw it go over, my heart dropped. I was so happy.”

After surrendering two runs in the first inning, Quisenberry settled down to throw four scoreless innings before giving up the slam to Garza.

“I knew when we gave up two in the first, it was going to be a tough game,” Reynolds said.

Syndergaard struck out seven of the first eight batters he faced and threw his fastball, changeup, and curveball consistently all game. With two out in the seventh, Frenship’s Bryndan Arredondo broke up the no-hitter with a double down the right-field line.

“I was sick when he lost it in the seventh,” Walden said. “He was absolutely incredible.”

REGION I-4A SEMIFINAL SERIES

at Hunter Field, Abilene

Game 1

MANSFIELD LEGACY 6, FRENSHIP 0

Frenship 000 000 0 – 0 1 1

Legacy 200 004 x – 6 5 1

Syndergaard and Jacobi; Quisenberry and Arredondo. W-Syndergaard. L-Quisenberry (6-5). 2B-Frenship, Arrendondo. HR-Legacy, Garza. Records: Frenship 21-20; Legacy 26-13.

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