GLEN ROSE – For the Tigers’ baseball team, the cobwebs are beginning to shake loose and their arms are starting to stretch out. Saturday’s scrimmage may have only been the second of four practices where scorebooks are kept and innings tracked, but with Head Coach James Evans’ former Celina Bobcats across the diamond there was certainly a little added intrigue.
The Tigers handled business to the tune of a 9-4 victory.
“It was a great day for some baseball and I’m still friends with all of the coaches over there,” Evans said. “It was just another practice for us, but it was a great day to do it for both teams.”
Cameron Rush started the game on the bump for the Tigers and put forth a quality showing in his second time out.
After issuing a five-pitch walk to the game’s first batter, Glen Rose’s equalizer behind the plate, Drayton Williams gunned down the would-be base stealer by a step-and-a-half at second base. The pitch, which was a first pitch strike, was followed three pitches later for Rush’s first of three strikeouts across three innings of work.
Rush walked two, but outside of three weakly hit popups and a rollover to Layne McAnear in the second inning, looked to be well in control for the majority of his outing.
The loudest putout of Rush’s outing came in the top-of-the-third inning with two outs and runners on first and second.
A Celina batter found a hole between first and second for a single to Gus Stoner in right field that sent the runners on the move. Stoner came up with the ball and fired a one-hop rope to Dylan Hammond behind the plate for an outfield assist to end the two-error inning.
Two innings and a Celina pitching change later, and the Tigers offense woke up for the biggest half-inning of the day.
In the bottom of the fourth, Celina made the move from a hard-throwing righty to a junkball pitcher with a knukleball in his arsenal.
With one out, Tyler Torres sat back and drove a single through the middle for his second hit of the afternoon. He then used his speed to swipe second on the first pitch to Rush and later advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Hammond delivered his second RBI on the day with a rope to centerfield and tied the game at two with two outs in the bottom-of-the-fourth inning.
“Dylan came up clutch every time that he came to the plate and drove in a few runs,” Evans said. “We have to keep that kind of momentum going all year long.”
Williams followed Hammond’s lead and found a gap for a single. Two pitches later, both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch to Stoner.
Down in the count, the junior right fielder kept his hands back and fired the barrel of the bat through the ball for single up the middle and two runs batted in.
Most of the damage in the inning was done with two outs and showed that the middle of the Tigers’ order is something other teams are going to have to prepare for.
“That’s tough when someone throws a guy who throws as hard as their first pitcher and then you come back with a thumber behind him,” said Evans of Celina’s pitching change. “We just have to make the adjustment ourselves and sit back. I thought our guys did a good job of doing that.”
Glen Rose added another in the bottom of the fifth on a pair of throwing errors and scratched two more runs in the sixth and seventh innings to complete the 9-4 win.
“I was impressed with the way we came out and pitched today,” Evans said. “We kept [Celina] off balance and our tempo was great.
“We still have to learn to respond and talk a little more in the field, and just be a little more mentally prepared during every at bat, every pitch and know what to do in every situation. We are getting there and our goal will always be to get better everyday. I think we did that today and if we keep doing that then I think we will be fine.”
Glen Rose will wrap-up scrimmage action on Friday, Feb. 19 at home against Brownwood at 4 p.m.