Championship season begins

Nester’s walkoff single down Flower Mound, cliches Cowboys’ co-district championship


Olivia Cooper

Coppell junior courtesy runner Matthew Williams slides home for the Cowboys’ game tying run against Flower Mound in the bottom of the fourth inning last night at Coppell ISD Baseball/Softball Complex. The Cowboys defeated the Jaguars, 3-2, behind a walk-off single from senior pitcher Andrew Nester to clinch the Co-District 6-6A Championship.

Meer Mahfuz, Staff Writer

In a district campaign that involved many turns, twist, and tribulations, one mentality remained unwavering for the Coppell baseball team: ‘Cowboy Fight Never Dies’

When the Cowboys needed it the most, senior pitcher Andrew Nester stepped up and clinched a Co-District 6-6A championship for the Cowboys.

In the bottom of the seventh, senior left fielder Carter Fields singled on a ground ball to shortstop with one out. Junior shortstop TJ Pompey flew out to center field and up stepped Nester. After a ball, Fields stole second, putting the Cowboys in position for a walkoff game winner.  

Nester’s single on a line drive to left field with two outs scored Fields, downed Flower Mound, 3-2, and clinched Coppell coach Ryan Howard’s first district title at Coppell last night at Coppell ISD Baseball/Softball Complex. 

“I spotted Flower Mound a couple of runs so it was only right for me to put them back in the ground [with the walkoff],” Nester said.

Nester started things off for the Cowboys on the mound by allowing back-to-back singles with his first two pitches of the game. However, a fielder’s choice out, fly out and ground out worked Nester out of the early jam in the top of the first.

Nester’s first pitch of the second inning was homered by junior catcher Evan Rolison as Flower Mound (20-10, 8-6) took a one run lead. 

In the bottom of the second, senior designated hitter Landry Fee singled on a hard ground ball to left field. Junior second baseman Tanner Sever bunted and reached first on a fielding error shortly after. After a fly out and strike out, senior right fielder Will Boylan was walked, setting up bases loaded for the Cowboys. However, Fields lined out to third base to end the inning.

Flower Mound senior second baseman Aidan Kuni singled on a line drive to right field in the top of the third. A ground out and strike out later, Kuni stole third and Flower Mound sophomore left fielder Garrett Wallace doubled on a line drive to center field, scoring Kuni and increasing the Jaguar’s lead to two runs.

“I missed a couple of spots and they put good swings on them,” Nester said. “I made some good pitches and they barrelled them too, it was just a rough night.”

After the third inning, Boylan entered in relief for Coppell (20-6-1, 13-1 in District 6-6A). 

“Nester was up in the zone a little bit which was a little uncharacteristic of him,” Howard said. “When we’re fortunate enough to have Boylan that can come and who has a little bit more of a swing-and-miss to him, we were able to keep it at a two-run ball game. Adding Nester back to our outfield makes us a better defense, getting Boylan on the mound gives a different look with a  little bit of a sharper breaker [ball] that Flower Mound ended up struggling with there towards the end.”

For the past two seasons, Boylan has been the guy Howard turns to whenever his Cowboys have had their backs against the wall, and more times than not, Boylan prevails regardless of whatever situation he’s thrown into.

“Boylan is a very special competitor; I have coached very few guys that have been put in the situations that he’s been put in and has come out successfully as consistently as he has,” Howard said. “He loves being in those situations, he loves to compete and I’m really happy that he’s a Coppell Cowboy.”

In the bottom of the fourth, Sever walked and senior catcher Bradley Castillo doubled on a line drive to right field, advancing Sever to third base. With one out, Sever scored on a passed ball, and junior courtesy runner Matthew Williams (in for Castillo) advanced to third. Boylan grounded out but not before Williams drove in the second run of the inning to knot the game at 2-2.

With one out in the top of the sixth, Rolison and sophomore third baseman Josh Glaser singled for Flower Mound. A strikeout and an induced ground out worked Boylan out of the jam, ending the inning in the process.

A pop out and two strikeouts in the top of the seventh set the stage for Nester to score the district-title clinching, walk-off run. 

Boylan (six) and Nester (two) combined for eight strikeouts. Nester surrendered two runs on five hits, walked one and allowed one home run. Boylan surrendered two hits.

“Walkoffs are by-far the most fun thing you can experience in baseball and after grinding it out like I did and the team did, it was a relief to win it right there,” Boylan said. 

According to Howard, Nester’s up-and-down night summarized just how much of a competitor he is.

“Nester by no means had any quit in him and he didn’t want to come out of the baseball game,” Howard said. “He stayed there and competed. Nester will compete until the day he’s gone and I knew that he was going to be mature enough to handle that decision [to pull him] by me and go out and play a great outfield. His maturity and toughness paid off by being put in a situation to win us a ball game as well as a co-district championship and coming through big for us.”

Because Flower Mound Marcus defeated Plano East, 18-2, the Cowboys were only able to clinch a share of the district title. The Co-District Championship is Coppell’s first district title since 2018 and the first of the Howard era. 

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