An Unbelievable Rally, Broncos Head To State
No one in attendance could believe what was unfolding before their eyes at the Cleburne High School baseball field this past Saturday.
Well, perhaps the members of the Mansfield Legacy Broncos baseball team believed since they were the ones pulling off the miracle – but here’s betting that if they were completely honest, even they had to be shocked.
The Broncos just kept scoring and scoring and scoring in the top of the seventh inning – a dozen runs in all. As a result, they turned a 9-1 deficit into a 13-9 victory against Aledo, earning the team’s first berth in the Class 5A State Tournament since the school opened in 2007.
Following their miraculous comeback – is there a better word to describe it? Aledo was, quite frankly, rolling on the heels of winning the day’s earlier game 12-4 to force a third game in the series – Legacy (32-9) will face Friendswood (29-7) in one state semifinal Thursday at 4 p.m. at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The winner takes on the survivor between Georgetown (33-7) and Frisco Wakeland (25-13) in the state championship game Saturday at noon at the same site.
The End Was Near…
For all intents and purposes, the season was done for the Broncos. And it would have been a fine season, a district championship and a spot in the Region I final. Many teams would be envious of such a season.
But the Broncos never stopped believing, said head coach Chris McMullen.
“There’s no quit in them. Great job. There was nothing to lose, being down 9-1 at that point,” he said. “I’ve never been a part of anything like this. It was unbelievable.”
Perhaps Aledo should have been somewhat wary of an improbable rally? After all, the Bearcats overcame a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning the night before to tie the game and force extra innings. Legacy retaliated with three in the eighth to win 8-5.
Something Special Happened
But who, in their wildest imagination, could have expected a comeback from eight down in the last inning of the regional finals, especially against a program renowned for success such as Aledo? You’d have a better chance of seeing Brittney Spears win an acting Oscar or finding gas for $1.50 a gallon.
It all started with a solo home run from Parker Ibrahimi, whose mother, Shipe Abrahimi, said she just had a feeling something special was about to happen.
“Absolutely, 100 percent,” she said, adding that when it all started to unfold, she was thinking, “They’re actually going to do it. In all the years I’ve been watching baseball, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”
And Then There Was More
Following Ibrahimi’s home run, his second of the day as he also homered in the first game Saturday, the proverbial floodgates opened. There was a single, error, walk, single, walk before the first out was recorded – and it was a sacrifice fly.
Oh, there was also a balk in that sequence that brought home a run.
Then came another walk, a hit batter, another walk, back-to-back singles, a fielder’s choice, two more singles, another sacrifice fly and finally a popout to shortstop to end the onslaught.
“I taught five of those seniors (Noah Rudel, Cade Sanberg, Drake Dowd, Andrew Taylor and Ethan Ramos),” said an ecstatic Cliff Frederick. “I’ve never seen anything like this. All of sudden it was getting serious. Legacy never gave up.”
Cade Eubank, a junior at Legacy, admitted he almost left, but something in him said to go ahead and stay because you never know.
“I’m just glad I stayed and watched and saw my friends fight hard,” he said. “It just shows you, don’t ever give up.”