WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Abilene Christian would play host to one of the best baseball games in class 4A this season.
No. 1 Argyle taking on No. 5 Iowa Park with a trip to state on the line.
Because Iowa Park head coach Michael Swenson won a coin toss, they would play a winner-take-all game Wednesday night, meaning the Hawks would only need one win to knock off the defending state champs.
The Eagles came out fast, but the Hawks would weather the storms early as Chris Dickens gets two straight inning-ending strikeouts.
But he couldn’t hold off the nationally-ranked Eagles for long.
Baylor commit Alex Gonzalez lines one to deep right center for a triple and Texas A&M commit Cade Merka drives him in for the first run of the game.
But Gonzalez wasn’t done because next inninghe hits a bomb to almost dead center field that got out in a hurry and Argyle would take a 2-0 lead in the regional final.
“We knew exactly what we were getting and they are a great baseball team," Iowa Park head coach Michael Swenson said. "That’s why we tried to load up and get them in one game. They just got two big hits when they needed them and that was the difference in the baseball game.”
On the other side it was Argyle’s Chad Ricker, the UT-San Antonio commit, who extended his no-hitter streak to 20 innings.
The Hawks best chance to get a run across came in the 5th with runners on the corners and 2 outs.
Kase Johnson grounds one to the shortstop and every Iowa Park fan in the stadium thought he was safe, but the first base umpire disagreed calling him out and ending the inning and the Hawks scoring chance.
It was one of two big calls for that first base umpire in the game.
But the Hawks leave four runners on base and lose 2-0.
“I’m still proud of our kids for not backing down and competing to the very end," coach Swenson said. "There are some times in that game where it looked bleak. Our pitchers battled and our defense was tremendous, we just couldn’t get going offensively.”
For the second year in a row the Hawks lose in the regional final, but coach Swenson says the seniors, who have led this team for two years, left a great blueprint of what success looks like for Iowa Park.
“That’s a testament to the seniors, they’ve been here for two years and they have shown these underclassmen what it takes in order to succeed. That’s one thing we will always have is high expectations, we expect to be at this point.
"Year in and year out and they’ve got the blueprint there in front of them and they have learned a lot from those seniors. Those seniors have done a tremendous job of teaching and leading and I couldn’t be happier for them.”
The Hawks have five players so far who be playing baseball at the collegiate level.
For the 2020 squad, they will re-stock and try to make another run at state.