Tigers down Cove 8-1
Friday, 20 April 2012 by Chuck Kelly
Twenty minutes before game time, a strong thundershower sent fans huddling under the Tiger field grandstands for shelter. A couple left but the die-hard Belton baseball fans waited for a decision from the coaches. The rain halted, the field was in good shape and it was "Play Ball", albeit a few minutes late.
The fans were glad they staydd (well, the Tiger fans) because they watched senior Hunter Houston strike out nine in a complete game 8-1 victory by Belton (11-9, 5-3) over the visiting Copperas Cove BullDawgs, (8-14, 4-4)
"They're a very good team, very athletic and well-coached," observed Tiger head coach Eddie Cornblum afterward. "We were able to capitalize on some misplays and get on a roll there. Thank goodness we were able to hit the ball a little and score some runs. I never worry about Hunter...I just worried about the short rest days...you know, we came back after four instead of the usual five or six days."
Houston posted his first "K" of the game against the second batter and acter the defense tagging out a runner on the base path, Austin Bishoff made a great diving, almost-bertical catch at first for the third out to begin the game.
No scoring until the top of the third, when Houston ran into a brief tough patch when a couple of walks and a single with two outs, one score, he settled in and struck out the batter for the third out, leaving the bases loaded.
1-0 Cove after three innings.
No scoring in the fourth or the top of the fifth --- but hold on --- Belton's bats came alive and seven runs crossed the plate in the bottom of the inning.
Jarret Pickens led off , reaching first on an overthrow and rounding out to race to second. Shane Wward slammed an RBI double to right center field. Max Hogan bunted Ward to third and too first base. Blayten Magana ripped a tw-run double. Ryan King got on base after being hit by a pitch. Jarred Janczak drove two runs across the plate before being tagged out trying to reach second. Janczak got on base on an errant throw to first and raced to third as King scored. Walker Winders shot an RBI grounder past second. Juan Lagunas singled and Jarret Pickens tripled to right field for the final score of the fifth inning.
Houston struck out two Dawgs (numbers 7and 8) and Bishoff made a great stretching catch for an out to set Cove down in the sixth.
In the bottom of the inning, Max Hogan doubled to the right field wall and Magana drew a walk after seven pitches and Chase Cryer hit a long sacrifice flyto right field to score the final run of the game. Belton 8-1.
"Pitching and defense is always the key,"Cornblum said after the game "We had to find our swing and the guys did. I think that big inning is going to help carry on to the next game."
That will be Thursday night at Harker Heights. First pitch scheduled for 7:00pm.