RIO VISTA – Fresh off of its Tuesday home win over Millsap, Glen Rose picked up a second-consecutive win in 11-3A with a 12-2 romp of Rio Vista. The two-game winning streak in district play is the first this season for the Tigers.
“We played good tonight overall,” Glen Rose Head Coach James Evans said. “We did a good base running job tonight and the pitching was great. We made a few errors in the field that extended a few innings. But this was another good win.”
Friday’s win was not just the first time for the Tigers to string together consecutive district wins. For the first time this season, Glen Rose loaded on the red and white Tiger bus with a road victory to talk about during the ride home.
Granted, after the March 10-12 tournament in Ponder fell victim to three days of rain there have been only two other opportunities to notch a road win. What makes this win even more important is that the previous two – 11-1 loss to Brock and a 6-1 defeat in Hillsboro – were downright stinkers.
(9-4, 4-2) Glen Rose was the better team on the field Friday. The Tigers made certain to prove as much.
Devin Crawford continued to befuddle batters on both sides of the plate. With a deceptive delivery, plenty of oomph with the heater and action in his breaking pitch, the 97-strikeout single-season school record set by Colten Lane one season ago is well within the sights of the senior.
The lefty efficiently used 85 pitches in his six-full innings of work Friday. He allowed two runs – both unearned – on three hits and struck out 11 Eagles while walking none.
“There weren’t any hard hit balls,” Evans said. “They hit a few little dinkers that fell in, but there is nothing you can really do about those.”
There were two Eagles plunked on inside pitches and, largely due to a porous pitching surface with a rubber the size of a cinderblock, Crawford was called for three balks. Although, one balk was committed after shortstop Layne McAnear called out a bunt attempt, but that is neither here nor there.
Keeping with McAnear, he may turn out to be the perfect compliment to Crawford. The lanky righty works close to the same blistering pace as Devo and has a fastball that both jumps out of his hand and tails hard into right-handed batters.
He worked a flawless seventh inning, needing just 10 pitches to retire the side in order. Come playoff time – not to be the jinx, but this team has yet to play its best baseball and currently sits in a three-way tie for second – the Crawford-Rush tandem that has worked so well will need to be split up during a three game series.
If McAnear can repeat the command shown Friday, a closer-type role may very well be one he can assume.
One would think that in order to score 12 runs that a team slugged the ball around the yard. Instead, the Tigers used 10 hits, 13 walks and swiped 11 bases. The Glen Rose skipper said he was pleased with the way his team handled themselves on the base paths.
The 11 steals were the most this season by the Tigers in a single game, as was the 13:2 walk-to-strikeout ratio.
Courtesy runner Brazos Overton - who ran for catcher Drayton Williams - was the thief of the night with his team-high three stolen bases. Dylan Hammond and Camron Rush each swiped two bases.
Reece Nickell and his patience led to his team leading three walks, while Gus Stoner, Rush and Williams were each issued two free passes.
Like clockwork, Tyler Torres led the team with three runs scored and Hammond drove in four Tigers to lead in the RBI column.
Torres also accounted for the only extra base hit for the Tigers. The Glen Rose second baseman drove a double to left field in the third inning and scored three pitches later on a Hammond single – the first of his two hits.
The monotony that was four walks, a sac-bunt and fielder’s choice in the top of the second inning mercifully ended with a McAnear single to center field. The ping from the BBCOR barrel was credited by Evans to be the spark to the Glen Rose offense for the remainder of the night.
“McAnear had a big hit in the second inning that really helped to get us going,” Evans said. “Hammond had a good night too and came through with runners in scoring position. Overall we swung the bat well when they gave us a chance to hit it.”
Glen Rose will look to run its wining streak to a season-high three games when it returns home Tuesday for a 7 p.m. first pitch against the cellar dweller of 11-3A, (0-6) Keene.