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Recent KHS Varsity Team News

Mustangs Season Ends with 9-7 Loss to Deer Park

By Jason Hebert 05/08/2022, 6:45pm CDT

Deer Park Deer 9, Kingwood Mustangs 7 - May 7, 2022 @ Andy Wells Field

Needing a win to force a game three, the Kingwood Mustangs took the field on a very hot Saturday afternoon against Deer Park Deer.  Ryan McClish was on the mound for the Mustangs while the Deer countered with Caiden Wilson.

The top of the first started with a groundout to third and a strikeout before a hit-by-pitch gave the Deer their first baserunner.  A walk and another hit-by-pitch loaded the bases before a single to right center gave Deer Park a quick 2-0 lead.  After a very close pitch was not called strike three, the Deer got a three-run home run to left to extend the lead to 5-0 in the top of inning one.  Knowing their season was on the line, the Mustangs seemed determined to not let one call or one inning deter them.  Jack Bruckbauer and Braelon Richardson both walked to quickly give the Mustangs two runners.  Josh Arquette hit a sac fly to right, moving Bruckbauer to third.  After Richardson stole second, Paxton Singleton walked to load the bases.  With Wilson still having a tough time finding the strike zone, McClish received the team's fourth free pass in five hitters to force in Bruckbauer with the Mustangs first run.  Jason Arney entered as a courtesy runner at first and the Deer replaced Wilson with Hayden Tronson.  Sammy Soto greeted him with a single down the right field line to score  Richardson and Singleton, bringing Kingwood to within two at 5-3.  Arney stole home while Soto distracted the Deer with an attempted steal of second.  With the throw home, Soto was able to steal second on the play as well.  He would be stranded there though as the Mustangs ended up the first, showing a lot of fight and now only trailing by a single run.

The leadoff hitter for Deer Park reached on another hit-by-pitch and moved to second and then third on passed balls.  But he was stranded there as McClish got a grounder to Richardson to end the inning.  The Kingwood second was a quiet one as the team went three up, three down to move the game to the third at 5-4.

The Deer managed two walks and a stolen base but couldn't not pad their lead as McClish registered two strikeouts and a pop up to Bruckbauer in short rightfiend to end the frame.  Arquette walked to start the home half but was forced at second on a fielder's choice.  McClish singled to left to put two runners on before Arney entered as a courtesy runner.  Soto walked to load the bases with one out.  John Hebert hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to score Singleton and move Arney to third, tying the game.  For the second time in the game, Soto was able to distract the Deer long enough for Arney to steal home giving Kingwood their first lead of the day at 6-5.  

Deer Park was retired in order in the fourth highlighted with a diving catch by Singleton in rightfield.  The Mustangs also went down with only three hitters in their half, sending the game to the fifth with a 6-5 lead for Kingwood.

McClish recorded two more strikeouts to go with one walk but that runner was out at second on an attempted steal due to batter interference.  Colt Safford entered the game to pitch for the Deer.  Richardson reached on a wild pitch on strike three, however the Mustangs couldn't generate anything else in the inning.

Deer Park got a leadoff single to left, just out of the reach of a diving Arquette and a bunt single down the third base line to put pressure on the Mustangs in the top of the sixth.  A sac bunt moved both runners up as Arquette threw to Bruckbauer covering first on the play.  A single to center scored two runners and gave Deer Park the lead back at 7-6.  Landon Morman entered the game to retire the last two hitters in the inning, stranding one on base.    Soto reached base for the third time in the game with a single to right field.  Soto was lifted for Caden Wellman to pinch run.  Wellman raced to third on an errant pickoff throw by the catcher.  Hebert then singled up the middle to score Wellman and again tie the score, this time at 7.  Arney came in to pinch run for Hebert at first base and for the second time in as many games, Braden Fuentes entered as a pinch hitter.  Fuentes hit a deep fly to left and a caught steal a bit later ended the inning and moved the game to the seventh tied at 7-7.

Ian Carlson was brought in to pitch for the Mustangs and got the leadoff hitter with a line out to right.  A single to left center by the Deer cleanup hitter preceded a pinch hitter grounding out to first base.  After a 3-0 count to the next hitter, he was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second.  Another walk loaded the bases for Deer Park, down to their last out.  A double down the left field line that was very close to being a foul ball scored two runs and gave the Deer a 9-7 lead.  Down to their last at bat, possible of the season, Bruckbauer walked but was forced out at second on a fielder's choice groundout to short.  With the tying  run at the plate, a flyout to center field ended the game and the Kingwood season.

After being able to win the play-in game a week earlier, the Mustangs held their own against Deer Park, the district champions.  With the majority of their starters back in 2023 and most of their pitching staff, look for the Mustangs to be in the postseason again very soon.  All in all, while obviously everyone would prefer to be preparing for Strake Jesuit and round two, Kingwood enjoyed another successful season in 2022.  We'll miss you Seniors.   We hope to see you at a game or two next year.

Kingwood Varsity Mustangs
Overall record:  18-12
District record:     7-6  (including play-in game)
Playoff record:       0-2

Mustangs Drop Game One of Playoff Series to Deer Park 4-2

By Jason Hebert 05/08/2022, 6:30pm CDT

Deer Park Deer 4, Kingwood Mustangs 2 - May 6, 2022 @ Deer Park

The Kingwood Mustangs opened the 2022 Playoffs at Jim Kethan Field in Deer Park Friday night in their best of three series.  After a lightning delay during warmups, the two teams were introduced and took the field about 7:15pm.

Deer ace Preston Watkins retired the Mustangs in order in the top of the first, striking out all three.  Josh Pelfrey toed the rubber for Kingwood, giving up a leadoff walk and stolen base before inducing three fly balls to keep the game scoreless.

Both teams again failed to score in the second as the Mustangs again went three up, three down.  The Deer managed a single to right center but nothing more as the game moved to the third at 0-0.

John Hebert led off the inning with a walk, the Mustangs first base runner of the evening.  On a failed bunt attempt, Hebert stole second to get into scoring position.  Liam O'Leary lined a single to center but Hebert was held at third with no outs and the centerfielder getting to the ball quickly.  Jason Arney entered as a courtesy runner for O'Leary.  Ty Boatright singled to center to score Hebert and give Kingwood an early 1-0 lead.  Braelon Richardson was safe at first on a throwing error by the pitcher, which also allowed him to get to second, Boatright to third and Arney to score the Mustangs second run of the inning.  Paxton Singleton was walked intentionally with two outs but a fielder's choice kept the game at 2-0.  With two outs, the Deer mounted a rally with three straight singles, the third of which plated their first run to cut the lead to one.  A walk and a line drive off of Pelfrey's ankle knotted the game at 2 before the third out.

The Mustangs went quietly in the fourth, retired in order for the third time in four innings.  Deer Park got a bunt single and a stolen base but could not score.

Kingwood sent the minimum to the plate in the fifth again as Watkins continued to keep them off balance.  The Deer notched consecutive triples to the right centerfield gap to break the tie and take a 3-2 lead.  A double down the right field line added to that and put them up by 2 runs.  Landon Morman came out of the pen to keep the game at 4-2 through five.

In the sixth, Ryan McClish doubled to right center but was stranded there.  Morman collected three ground ball outs sandwiched around a single to right and a passed ball to send the game into the final frame with the Mustangs trailing by 2.

Hebert drew his second walk of the game to lead off the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate.  Arney entered the game again, this time as a pinch runner.  Unfortunately, a double play left the Mustangs with one last out.  Boatright prolonged the game with a single to left, again bringing the tying run to the plate.  Freshman Braden Fuentes was sent up as a pinch hitter but Watkins was able to finish off the complete game and put the Deer up 1-0 in the series.

Kingwood will next play at noon Saturday at Andy Wells Field in Kingwood.

Kingwood Varsity Mustangs
Overall record:  18-11
District record:     7-6  (including play-in game)
Playoff record:       0-1

Ward, Carlson, Boatright Lift Kingwood into Post Season

By Jason Hebert 05/01/2022, 12:30am CDT

Kingwood Mustangs 7, Atascocita Eagles 4 - April 30 @ C.E. King

With both the Mustangs and the Eagles falling on Friday night, the two ended up tied for fourth in District 21-6A, forcing a play in game on Saturday evening at C.E. King.  The winner would secure a playoff berth against Deer Park while the loser would start preparing for summer ball.

Playing as the visiting team, the Mustangs leadoff hitter Jack Bruckbauer, reached on an infield to shortstop up the middle.  A fielder's choice and a stolen base by Braelon Richardson put their first runner in scoring position but the inning ended scoreless.  David Ward started for the Mustangs and got off to a great start, striking out Kendall George.    A fly out and a second strikeout moved the game to the second.

There, Ryan McClish got Kingwood's second hit, a single up the middle.  Sammy Soto singled to right and both runners moved an extra base on a fielding error.  Liam O'Leary grounded to first, scoring McClish with the first run of the game.  Ty Boatright doubled off the left field wall, just missing out on a two-run homer by a few feet.  Instead, he settled for an RBI when Soto scored on the play.  Bruckbauer followed with another infield single to shortstop allowing Boatright to score and push the Mustangs lead to 3-0.  A bunt single, stolen base and single to left saw the Tigers post their first run and cut the lead to 3-1.

Kingwood went meekly in their half of the third before Atascocita threatened in the bottom of the frame.  Two singles after two outs put runners on but a grounder to Richardson ended things there.

The Mustangs tried to add to their lead in the fourth when John Hebert and Soto walked back to back.  Unfortunately, a couple of fielder's choices and a strikeout prevented that.    A single was all Atascocita could get in the books though so the game moved to the fifth at 3-1.

Richardson led off the fifth with a single to center.  Josh Arquette singled to left and Paxton Singleton walked to load the bases.  McClish singled to right to score Richardson.  Hebert walked to force in Arquette before Riley Chandler entered as a pinch runner.  Soto singled to right, scoring Singleton, before Jason Arney pinch ran for him.  O'Leary reached on a fielder's choice and was run for by Ashton Rodriguez as a courtesy runner.  Boatright's sac fly to left plated Chandler and gave him his second RBI of the contest.  Bruckbauer walked to load the bases again but the rally ended there as Kingwood now led 7-1.  Down to their last three at bats of the game, Atascocita started a rally with a bunt back to the pitcher.  A poor throw allowed the runner to reach second.  Two walks then loaded the bases before Ian Carlson was summoned from the bullpen.  After a run scored on a passed ball, the hitter walked to again load the bases.  In what was probably the play of the game, their cleanup hitter hit a hard bouncer back to the mound that Carlson fielded, threw to O'Leary for force the runner out at the plate who then threw to Hebert at first to complete a 1-2-3 double play.  The next hitter did stroke a line drive single just over the head of Bruckbauer at second to add two runs but that's where things ended.  The double play seemed to take a little sting out of the Tigers despite having closed the gap to 7-4.

Each team was retired in the sixth in three up, three down fashion, moving the game to the final inning.

With a chance to extend their lead, a Soto single to left was extinguished with a double play.  Atascocita, down to their last three outs, possibly in their season, went without a whimper as Carlson got a ground out to Richardson, a fly out to Boatright and ended the game in grand fashion with a three pitch strikeout to close it out and send the Kingwood Mustangs to the 2022 playoffs.

With the win, Ward moved to 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in district.  Carlson went three innings and registered his second save of the season, giving him the team lead in that category.

The Mustangs will next face Deer Park Friday and Saturday.  Game times and locations to be determined.  A third game would be Saturday as well, if necessary.

Kingwood Varsity Mustangs
Overall record:  18-10
District record:     7-6  (including play-in game)

2021-2022 Kingwood High School Baseball

Andy Wells Field - Kingwood, Texas

Kingwood Varsity Mustangs
Overall record:   18-12
District record:      7-6 (winner of play-in game)
Playoff record:        0-2

Kingwood Junior Varsity Mustangs
Overall record:   13-7-2
District record:    10-1

Kingwood Sophomore Mustangs
Overall record:   19-3-1
District record:      8-2