Tigers rip Wildcats 7-0 to complete sweep
Sunday, 29 April 2012 by Chuck Kelly
What a night it was at Tiger Field last Friday --- senior pitcher Blayton Magana completed a season sweep of rival Temple with a 7-0 shutout after beating the Wildcats 9-4 in their first meeting on March 20th. The victory marked Belton's fourth consecutive regular-season sweep of Temple. The win was the Tigers fourth straight and snapped a six-game Temple winning streak. The victory also broke up a three-way tie for second place in district to keep Belton and A&M Consolidated tied, while dropping Temple a game behind.
"What a night, not losing to those guys," exclaimed Magana after the game. "As a senior, that's what we wanted to do, especially tied for the second spot (in district). That was huge...our goal now is district. I give all the credit to the defense, they played their hearts out tonight."
Magana has already committed to Temple College and TC coach Craig McMurtry must have been all smiles at his future Leopard's three hit performance on the mound.
Tiger head coach Eddie Cornblum liked what he watched. "It (the win) feels good....anytime you win a rivalry game, no matter who it is, it's gotta feel good!" he admitted. "These kids prepared well, had a great week of workouts and executed great tonight. These youngsters really got after it."
The first pitch of the evening was a strike and that set the stage for the game. The Cats fell in order 1-2-3 in the opening inning and managed only three hits during the entire contest.
On the other hand, the Tigers came out of the dugout roaring and grabbed a five-run lead in the bottom of the first.
Shane Ward started it, drawing a base on balls. Baylor-bound second baseman Max Hogan drove a double down the line off the first baseman's glove. Austin Bishoff walked to load the bases. Magana took a two-strike pitch and slammed a single that scored Ward and Hogan. After one out, Jared Janczak ripped a two-RBI triple to right field. A sacrifice fly to left by Chase Cryer plated Janczak for the fifth and final run of the opening frame.
In the second, Temple picked up its first hit of the night with a ball that sailed just inches over a leaping Hogan but that was all for the inning.
Ward walked in the bottom of the second and the dependable left-hander Hogan cracked a two-run homer over the right field wall.
After just two innings, Belton led Temple 7-0 and that was all the runs needed for the night.
The Wildcats picked up their second hit of the game in the third with a hot grounder through third and then posted the team's final hit of the night in the fifth with a single into short left field.
Magana got in on the last out of the evening when Bishoff moved in to snatch an infield ball and tossed it to the pitcher who had raced to cover first base to end the game.
Hogan was 2-for-3 at bat with two RBI and two runs; Ryan King went 2-for-3; Janczak had a two-run triple; and Magana got two RBI.
Belton rose to 13-9, 8-3 and Temple dropped to 14-13, 7-4.
Prior to the game's opening pitch, several Champion Kids from the McLane Children's Hospital Scott & White received thunderous applause from the fans as they were introduced to the packed stands as part of the Belton Home Run for Health program, an event that also raised some $6,000 this season for the Children's Miracle Network. Sherri Myers was the evening's event organizer.
Tuesday evening, Belton (14-9, 9-3)kept things alive with a 14-2 five-inning rout of Ellison in Killeen. That runs the Tigers' win streak to five and district leader Bryan and second-place A&M Consolidated stand in the way of another title.
Hunter Houston started on the mound and threw two scoreless innings before giving way to relievers Shane Ward and Taylor Lahey. The talented trio held the Eagles to just two runs off five hits.
Belton wasted no time in setting the tone and pace of the game, scoring eight runs in the opening inning. The Tigers never let up or looked back --- another score in the second, two scores in the third and three more in the fourth.
Max Hogan again led the way at the plate for Belton. He was 2-for-2 with another double, drove in three runs and scored two more. Walker Winders drove home three runs and Blayton Magana smashed a two-run homer out of the park.
Preparation and execution are second-nature to the Tigers now and they continue to take care of business as they head toward the playoffs again.
"We're right in the hunt" is the way coach Cornblum put it."Hopefully, the district championship is there for us if we just take care of business."
The next step is against the district-leading Bryan Vikings Friday (tomorrow) night at Tiger Field and the Tigers finish the regular season on the road next week when they take on A&M Consolidated.