CIBOLO - Cuero coach Scott Holder knew he would have to say goodbye to his players, but was hoping to put the farewells off for as long as possible.
Holder's six-year tenure at Cuero came to an end Saturday evening when the Gobblers dropped a 4-3 decision to Boerne in Game 3 of their Class 3A regional quarterfinal series at Steele Field.
Cuero bounced back from a 6-1 loss in the series opener on Friday night to claim a 12-2 win in Game 2 that was stopped after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
"I told them I'm going to miss this bunch," Holder said. "You don't come across kids like this too often. They did it right from the beginning."
The Gobblers had their chances before ending the season with a 21-9-3 record.
Cuero took a 3-1 lead in Game 3, but was unable to hold it as the Greyhounds (20-7-2) scored three unearned runs, each coming with two outs.
"Give them credit," Holder said. "We were trying to take it as far as we could with Brayden (Sievers) before getting Jordan (Boothe) back in. There were a couple of plays we probably should have made and it might have made a difference. But I'm going to give them credit, they hit the ball hard."
Boerne had seven hits and took advantage of two Cuero infield errors to advance to the regional semifinals against Columbia, which captured a 2-1 series win over Sinton.
"We had a bunch of young kids who stepped up and filled the shoes of the ones that left last year," said catcher Dustin Ohrt, who had a RBI single in Cuero's three-run third inning. "We hit the ball. We could have gotten more base runners on."
Cuero scored all its in run in third when it had three hits and was the beneficiary of two walks and a hit batsman. But the Gobblers left the bases loaded, missing a chance to break the game open.
"When you have the bases loaded, some times you get three runs, some times you get eight, and some times you don't get any," Holder said. "We'll take the three we got. I thought we were in good shape when we were up 3-1. Brayden was doing an excellent job. It came down to one or two plays, balls they got through the infield when they had runners on."
After scoring a total of three runs in the first 10 innings of the series, the Gobblers scored five in the fourth inning of Game 2 and added one in the fifth and four in the sixth to end the game.
Boothe had a bases-loaded triple in the fifth and was also the winning pitcher, yielding just three hits and striking out three.
Clint Davis, Colton Jacobs, Austin Johnson and Sievers each had two hits for Cuero in Game 2.
Sievers started Game 3 and went four innings before being relieved by Boothe.
Boothe retired the first two hitters in the fifth before Tyler Nevill and Jared Coward, who had three hits, each singled to put runners at first and third.
Boothe got Jason Richmond to ground to shortstop but the throw bounced at first base and the decisive run scored.
The Gobblers stranded a runner at second base in the fifth and runners at first and second in the sixth.
Cuero went in order in the seventh and gathered around Holder for the final time.
"These guys mean the world to me," Holder said. "They've overachieved all year long. We don't have anybody that throws 90 miles per hour or somebody that hits .500. We play as a team. These guys have done it all year on their hearts and strength."
Class 3A Regional Quarterfinal
Cuero 12, Boerne 2
Boerne 000 020 - 2 3 2
Cuero 101 514 - 12 12 2
One out when game-ending run scored
Wil Fowler, Brooks Bailey (5), Evan Wallace (6) and Tyler Nevill. Jordan Jennings and Dustin Ohrt. W: Boothe. L: Fowler. 3B: (C) Boothe, Logan G )2B: (B) Bradley Vaselka; (C) Boothe. (C) Colton Jacobs, Clint Davis, Blake Reeve. Highlights: (B) Dalton D'Spain 1 for 2, 2 RBIs. (C) Boothe 1 for 4, 3B, 3 RBIs; Jacobs 2 for 4, 2B, R, 2 RBIs; Austin Johnson 2 for 4, R; Davis 2 for 3, 2B, 2 R, RBI; Brayden Sievers 2 for 2 3 R.
Boerne 4, Cuero 3
Cuero 003 000 0 - 3 6 2
Boerne 010 210 x - 4 7 0
Brayden Sievers, Jordan Boothe (5) and Dustin Ohrt. Carson Cox, Noah Foreman (6) and Tyler Nevill. W: Cox. L: Boothe. S: Foreman. 2B: (B) Jason Richmond. Highlights: (B) Jared Coward 3 for 3, 2 R; Carson Cox 1 for 3, RBI. (C) Brayden Sievers 1 for 2, R; Blake Reeve 1 for 3, R; Colton Jacob 1 for 3; Ohrt 1 for 4, R, RBI. Records: Cuero 21-9-3; Boerne 19-8-2. Note: Boerne wins series 2-1 and advances to regional semifinals against Columbia.