Layton Robinson threw 154 pitches and hit a first inning grand slam but it was a walk off squeeze bunt by Mason Suttles that drove in the winning run of a 7-6 Class 2A West regional win by Magazine over Hector Saturday.
With the win the Rattlers earned a spot in the Class 2A state tournament that will be played this week.
In the first Brent Loyd and Suttles reached on errors and with a single by Shaffer Loyd sandwiched between the miscues the bases were loaded for Robinson, who staked himself to a 4-0 lead with a grand slam.
The Wildcats chipped away when a leadoff walk came around to score in the first and added another pair of runs in the second, but Hector left three in scoring position in those two innings.
Aided by an error Hector tied the game in the fourth.
Magazine retook the lead at 5-4 in the fifth when Brent Loyd reached on another Wildcat error, moved up on a ground ball and to third on a passed ball the scored on a single by Suttles.
The Rattlers’ next run would actually prolong the game because Hector scored twice in the top of the seventh to take a 6-5 lead. The run was scored by Ethan Fairbanks who had walked, but an error played heavily into the run.
When Robinson retired the side in order in the top of the eighth — he struck out two in the frame and 11 in the game — the Rattlers won it in the bottom of the inning.
Aboard for the fifth time in the game — reaching on three errors and a single before the extra inning — Brent Loyd led off the inning with a walk. Shaffer Loyd beat out a bunt to give the Rattlers two baserunners and a passed ball moved both to scoring position to set up Suttles, who put down the game winner to score Brent Loyd for the third time in the game.
Exactly when the Rattlers will play in the state tournament was yet to be determined going into Monday because the Saturday games were actually scheduled for Friday but were pushed back due to heavy rains, meaning the tournament wasn’t scheduled to conclude until yesterday (Tuesday).