PLAINVIEW — Whether you're a fan of the Randall Raiders or the Lubbock-Cooper Pirates, one thing can be universally agreed upon.
The playoff game between the two 5A schools on Friday night was everything you could've hoped it to be.
With that being said, that statement's probably more true for the Pirates since they were the ones who tied the game up in the bottom of the sixth at 3-3 to force extra innings.
Enter Ethan Guerrero, who recorded a walk-off RBI double that scored Guias McPherson to provide Lubbock-Cooper the 4-3 win and tie the regional quarterfinal series 1-1.
"That's the playoffs right there," Lubbock-Cooper coach Brad Wuensche said. "Whenever you get to the round of 32, it's going to be a fight. Randall is a very, very great team and very well coached. To be able to get it back to 1-1 is huge for us because (Randall) had a lot of momentum going into today. I'm proud of the way the guys weathered the storm and competed until the end."
Even on the other side of the diamond, Randall acknowledged the sheer competitiveness of the contest.
"That was a great baseball game," Raiders assistant coach John Peterson said. "That was two great teams going after it and that's what playoff baseball's all about. We've got to put this one behind us, wake up tomorrow, get on a bus and go win a baseball game."
It didn't look like it would be much of a contest early on.
After Randall failed to score in the top of the first, Kyler Jordan tripled for Lubbock-Cooper in the bottom of the inning to score McPherson. In the next at-bat, Cutter Douglas picked up the RBI double to score Jordan and make it a 2-0 game in favor of the Pirates.
No game has ever been decided in the first inning, however, and that didn't change Friday night.
In the top of the fourth, with two outs and two runners on, Mason Ladd hit the ball out to left field. Douglas looked as though he'd have the easy play for the third out, but he lost his footing and couldn't get to the ball in time.
The result was a two-run, game-tying RBI triple to score Kaden Juarez and Hagen Shedd and put things at 2-2.
In the top of the fifth inning, Randall again had two outs with Andrew Ramos on second and Taylor McDaniel up to bat.
In what appeared to be an ill-advised attempt to steal second, Lubbock-Cooper third baseman Timothy Haynes couldn't make the catch and Ramos saw an opening — taking off for home and made it in time to put the Raiders up 3-2 on the error.
Ramos pitched through the fifth inning for Randall before Payton Bush came on in relief.
After giving up a one-pitch leadoff double, Bush surrendered a single before making a nice double play to get two outs — then the dramatics came up.
Lubbock-Cooper's Kyle Lewis needed one runner to do what needed to be done, however, as he picked up the RBI triple to right field and scored McPherson to tie the game up at 3-3.
Neither team could score in the seventh, sending the game to extras.
After Randall failed to put a run on the board, Holt Gibson went up for Lubbock-Cooper and reached first safely on an error. McPherson stepped in to replace Gibson as the pinch runner before Guerrero stepped up to bat.
After working a full count, Guerrero slammed the ball to deep center field for the double, which was enough to get McPherson to cross home plate as Randall Was unable to complete relay as the Pirates dugout celebrated as McPherson scored and the Pirates rushed the field to celebrate.
The decisive game three will be played Saturday at 1 p.m. in Plainview at Wilder Field.
Cooper 4, Randall 3
Randall 000 210 00 3 4 1
Cooper 200 001 01 4 7 1
Jude Cook, Holt Gibson (5) and Michael Smosna. Andrew Ramos, Payton Bush (6) and Mason Ladd. W -- Gibson. L -- Bush. 2B -- Cooper, Cutter Douglas, Ethan Gurrero, Gibson. 3B -- Randall, Ladd; Cooper, Kyle Lewis, Kyler Jordan. Records: Randall 27-8, X-X; Cooper 28-7.
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: Cooper walks off Randall, ties series 1-1