Rangers Rally to Reach Second Round

Jesuit will face Conroe Oak Ridge in the area round this week after dispatching Rowlett in three games. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

Jesuit and Rowlett traded late-inning comebacks on Saturday, with the Rangers surviving in Game 3 of a Class 6A Region II bi-district playoff series in Prosper.

Jesuit claimed the deciding game 6-4 in nine innings, thanks to a game-winning two-run single by Paul Gramling. Ben Shepherd pitched four shutout innings in relief — the longest outing of his career — to pick up the win.

The Rangers (28-7) advance to meet Conroe Oak Ridge in the area round. The best-of-three series starts on Thursday at Wright Field before shifting to Conroe on Friday. A third game, if necessary, would be Saturday at a time and site to be determined.

Earlier on Saturday, Jesuit’s 15-game winning streak was snapped when the Eagles (20-10) rallied in the bottom of the seventh for a 2-1 victory. A two-run, walk-off double by Rowlett’s Logan Layer broke up the shutout bid, and handed Jesuit ace Tyler Murrah his first loss of the year.

In the series opener on May 3, the Rangers cruised to an 8-1 victory. Murrah and Maccoy Lopez led a 14-hit attack to back up strong pitching by Jack Lynch.

Oak Ridge (21-8), which lost to the Rangers in a thrilling three-game series in the Region II semifinals in 2016, swept Mesquite Horn in the bi-district round last week.