WEIMAR - Chris Jones studied for his mound test on Thursday, and aced the exam on Saturday.
Jones pitched a two-hitter to lead Hallettsville to an 11-1 win over East Bernard and a sweep of their best-of-three game Class 2A regional quarterfinal series at Veterans Memorial Park Strickland Field.
Hallettsville (29-3) pushed across the game-ending run via the 10-run mercy rule with two outs in the bottom of the sixth on a bases-loaded walk by Carson Schindler.
The Brahmas advanced to the regional semifinals against Bishop.
"I knew they were good hitters by what they did Thursday night," Jones said. "I just approached the game to just throw outside, keep pounding outside, and mix it up with the breaking ball, keep them off balance and eventually end the game."
Jones yielded only two singles and two walks. He had eight strikeouts and did not allow an earned run.
"My stuff was definitely good," he said. "I was spotting it up on the outside, my curveball was working well and my defense was good behind me too."
Hallettsville made Jones' job easier by pushing across a run in the bottom of the first inning before breaking the game open with six runs in the second.
"We kind of jumped on them early and when you do that it's easier . you've still got to play the game," said Hallettsville coach Shorty Cook. "It's always nice to jump on somebody early, and you can make sure you play good baseball the rest of the way."
Hallettsville had only two hits in the second inning, but took advantage of two East Bernard (22-6) errors, four walks, and a hit batsman.
The Hallettsville hits were big ones - a two-run single by Justin Reeves against a drawn-in infield and a single by Schindler that got past the right fielder allowing two runs to score.
"We felt good about the way we swung the bat," said Schindler, who had three hits. "It's always good to capitalize whenever we can get hits and string stuff together when they give us some base runners and it's good we took care of that."
Hallettsville scored a run in every inning but the fifth, taking much of the pressure off of Jones.
"It's always easier to pitch when you score some runs," Cook said. "Not taking anything away from Chris because he did a great job. Even at the plate, you don't have to tighten up. You can sit back and look for your pitch."
Eleven of the 15 runners who got into scoring position came across the plate for Hallettsville, and that included a runner left on third base when the game ended.
"We had some guys come up with some clutch hits," Cook said. "Reeves hit a chopper over the shortstop that was a clutch hit. We've got some guys seeing the baseball."
East Bernard won state championships in football and track and field, but saw its bid for a third state title denied.
The game also ended the high school career of center fielder Ty Slanina, who will play football next season at TCU.
"I couldn't have asked for a better senior year," Slanina said. "It's just the one thing is we wanted to finish it with another ring on our finger. But I'd definitely say that today we lost this series to the future state champs in baseball."
Hallettsville wanted to make sure it played like a state champion so it could move a step closer to its goal.
"We talked about it a little Thursday night and again this morning," Schindler said. "Our seniors got together, and we wanted to come out and take care of business and not leave it a closes game like we did on Thursday night."
BISHOP 5, REFUGIO 0
SINTON - Draigon Silvas and Brett Wernli each had two hits for Refugio, but the Bobcats failed to score for the second game in a row and were eliminated by Bishop 5-0 on Saturday.
Tyler Castellano picked up his first loss of the season after pitching five innings, striking out one and allowing two runs.
Hallettsville 11, East Bernard 1
East Bernard 000 100 - 1 2 5
Hallettsville 161 201 - 11 7 2
Two outs when game-ending run scored
Cole Koeppen, Garrett Polak (4) and Justin McGuire. Chris Jones and Dylan Kerr. W: Jones (7-0). Highlights: (EB) Josh Vincek 1 for 2, RBI. (H) Jones 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K; Carson Schindler 3 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBIs; Will Wallace 1 for 3, 2B, R, RBI; Kory Smith 1 for 1, 2B, 3 R, RBI; Justin Reeves 2 for 4, R, 2 RBIs. Records: East Bernard 22-6; Hallettsville 29-3.
Bishop 5, Refugio 0
Bishop 020 003 0-5 7 0
Refugio 000 000 0-0 7 4
W -- Kyle Kieschnick (7-1). L -- Tyler Castellano (8-1). 3B - Bishop: Joseph Rubio, Victor Vera IV. HIGHLIGHTS: Bishop: Kieschnick 7 IP, 0 BB, 4 K's; Refugio: Castellano 5 IP, 1 K and 2-3; Draigon Silvas 2-3; Brett Wernli 2-3; J.W. Shipp 1-3. RECORDS - Bishop, Overall, 26-6-1. Refugio, 26-5.