Friday, 23 March 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
Tiger head baseball coach Eddie Cornblum and his team seem to like North Texas --- batting, pitching and defense all came together as the Tigers got on a "roll" from the start at the Highland Park Invitational in Dallas.
Senior Hunter Houston pitched a six-hit shutout in the opening game for a 7-0 victory over Wolfforth Frenship last Thursday.
Houston upped his early season record to 2-0 as he threw nine strikeouts and walked just two for the Tigers as he controlled the opposing batters in a cold and wet contest. Sophomore catcher Joey Hogan was behind the plate.
Belton scored seven runs off seven hits for the win, ringing up three runs in the first and fifth innings and added a single score in the third.
Max Hogan and Jarred Janczak each had two RBI's, Hogan's came on a homerun. Blayten Magana got in on the action with a big double.
The Tiger defense played great error-free baseball.
Belton batters rapped out a total of 18 hits --- nine in each game --- during Friday's double-header victories.
Senior Shane Ward (1-1) pitched four innings and Pickens closed out the 6-4 win over the host team, Addison Trinity Christian. The pair allowed only six hits and the defense backed them up with no errors again.
Belton led 3-1 after two innings and added three more scores in the fourth.
Besides pitching, Ward was 2-for-3, including a double, at the plate.
Austin Bishoff, Juan Lagunas and Max Hogan also each blasted doubles. Bishoff was 3-for-4 with a run batted in and Lagunas went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI's.
Bishoff turned in another 3-for-4 and one RBI performance at bat in game two as the Tigers beat Wylie 6-2. Magana (1-0) tossed a two-hitter with Joe Pare getting the call at catcher.
Belton jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the third, Wylie tied it up in the top of the fourth and the Tigers shut the door with a four run fourth inning.
Catcher Pare helped out his pitcher, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Although the Tigers haven't played at home yet, the "Road Warriors", as the coach refers to the team, were off to a great 3-0 start in the first two days of the tournament.
As it turned out, Saturday's scheduled games against The Woodlands and Midlothian were rained out, as so many other athletic events were last week, so Cornblum's Tigers (6-7) scored a perfect three-and-oh in their final tournament before plunging into district action this week against the BullDawgs at Copperas Cove Tuesday evening, the team's first home game Thursday evening as Harker Heights comes to Tiger Field, and another road game Friday as Belton heads to Shoemaker. First pitch for all games is 7PM.