BRIAN BESCH | PCE Big Sandy Wildcatscelebrating a win.
By Brian Besch
The Big Sandy Wildcats scored early and often Saturday, clinching a bi-district championship over Iola 11-0 in Willis.
"We played to our full potential today," Big Sandy coach Blake Brown said. "We played good defense, pitched well, put the ball in play and took advantage of some situations on the basepaths to score in every inning."
The Wildcats made the most of their time at the plate. They scored 1, 2, 4 and 4, respectively, over the four frames.
Trace Flores, Bryce Barnes, Brayden Young and Ethan Murphy each had two RBIs, with the latter three collecting two hits as well. Young and Murphy scored twice, while Trever Quinones crossed the plate three times.
As a team, the Big Sandy offense had more hits (13) than recorded outs (12).
"Our guys had really good at-bats all the way up and down the order," Brown said. "Every time we got somebody in the box, we were seeing a lot of pitches. I think we got hit by a pitch five times today. Pretty much all of the baserunners that we got today were moved into scoring position and a lot of those were paid off."
Tony Carter pitched on a limited count, with only 76 tosses to work with Saturday after making relief appearances in both games Friday. He was able to finish Game 3, covering five innings in just 63 pitches.
He scattered five hits and a walk, and struck out three Bulldogs.
"Defensively, we just made a lot of plays. Isias Walker had a really good game. He played (shortstop) today while Tony was pitching and he made every play that was hit to him."
"Tony did a good job of getting on top of their bats, so there were a lot of balls in the air. I think they got their first hit in the third inning. Tony just commanded the game from the bump all day. Defensively, we were just there to make the plays behind him."
Brown said the next opponent, Shiner, will be present a big challenge. The Comanches are 22-2 and the Texas High School Coaches Association ranks them as the top team in the state.
"It is going to be a tough matchup for us. They are a tough matchup for anybody. I am never going to count my kids out if we play good baseball and play clean defense like we did today. I know they've got one really good pitcher and, as a team, they are pretty salty. I feel like our guys will come ready to play."
The series will begin Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Navasota and continue Saturday at 11 a.m. and (if needed) 1:30 p.m.