Immanuel Morales brought his “A” game to the ballpark when Glen Rose hit the road against Hillsboro on April 21, following the Tigers’ District 7-3A championship-clinching win on April 20.
Morales took the bump with the Tigers riding a 13 game win streak, including eight straight District 7-3A victories, and was nothing short of spectacular in blanking the Eagles 1-0.
The Tiger southpaw went the distance with eight strikeouts while allowing no walks and five hits.
“He threw the ball well,” said Glen Rose head coach Kenny Toney. “He threw it like I’ve been expecting him to throw it. I talked to him during warm-ups and I told him to throw like he’s capable of throwing, and he did. He looked great. He had good velocity and hit his spots.
“What helps Immanuel is that when runners reach first base, they don’t get much farther,” Toney continued. “He’s really worked on his pick-off move and he’s picked off probably four or five base runners.”
The only run of the contest came in the second inning when Ty Taylor reached on a walk. Courtesy runner Kevin Brooks stole second and an errant throw allowed him to advance 90 feet.
RJ Nowak dropped a Texas-leaguer behind third base, which scored Brooks for what would stand as the game-winning run.
On Friday, district champion Glen Rose put its 14 game win streak on the line in the 2009 regular season finale against West, and the Trojans were up to the challenge.
West snapped the Tigers’ streak in blowout fashion by beating Glen Rose 11-1.
“I almost expected it,” said Toney. “It was an eye opener for us, but it’s better to lose now than three weeks down the road.”
A lack of offense and five defensive miscues were the downfall for Glen Rose against the visiting Trojans.
Colt Plaster took the bump and lasted only four innings, allowing eight runs — six earned — on eight hits and three walks. He struck out seven.
Nowak came on in relief and finished the contest with three innings of work including three K’s.
The only offense came off Shelby Junge’s only hit of the game — a double — and Reagan Rotan, who went 2-4 with an RBI that plated Junge.
“I thought that double might get us started, but it just wasn’t our night,” said Toney.
Glen Rose has plenty of time to work out the kinks.
With the championship finish, the Tigers received a bye in the first round and will face Bridgeport in the area round of the Class 3A Region I playoffs. Dates and locations were not yet determined at press time.