Tiger baseball made too many mistakes on day one in the Gatesville Tournament to find success, but Glen Rose was sharper on Saturday morning to pave the way for victory.
The Tigers (1-2) scored five runs in their last at bat to defeat Florence 6-1. Each team tallied five hits, while Florence made more errors (5-3).
“Florence had good pitching and their batters took good cuts, but our pitchers did a good job hitting their spots and keeping the ball down,” Toney said. “They’ll be competitive in a tough district. We were able to put some hits together in the eighth to pull away.”
Although the three errors aren’t what Toney is looking for, it was an improvement from a rough day in the field on Friday.
“We played a lot better defensively (Saturday),” he said. “There will be times you make errors, but we have to keep ourselves in the game. (Preston) Shuffield made some plays at third base, and later I moved him to first base and put (Colton) Lane at third base. Lane played well at third, and over at first Preston did a good job digging some throws and made a high grab to tag a runner.
“Hayden Bach was also sharp defensively when he went to shortstop after pitching. (Taylor) Hansen had a solid game at second base.”
Bach (3 2/3 IP, R – ER, 2 H, 7 K) got the start on the mound, as Chance Nabours (4 2/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 3 W, 6 K) and Lane (1/3 IP) also saw action.
“Hayden did a very good job, especially considering he’s been sick most of the week,” Toney said. “He hit his spots real well and only made one mistake when he got a fastball up a little bit and their kid hit a homer. Nabours did a great job and he’s another guy who’s been under the weather recently.
“He got in a jam in one inning and pitched his way out of it. He was around the plate throwing strikes.”
Cody Burtscher led the offense with a three-run homer in the eighth inning, after Florence scored its only run in the fourth and the Tigers plated one in the sixth. Burtscher also had a fourth RBI.
“We were up 2-1 with two on when Cody came up,” Toney said. “He had two strikes on him. Cody said he could tell it was gone (to left field) as soon as he saw it.”
Other hitters included Austin Gibson (double), Shuffield (single), Hansen (single) and Bach (single). Bach scored a team-high two runs.
“It may not look like it – being scoreless through five innings – but I thought we competed better at the plate in this game,” Toney said. “In the eighth, several guys put the ball in play with two strikes and pressured their defense.”
The Tigers will now travel to Brownwood on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. ballgame.
“I’m finding out about this group that these guys will battle to the end, and that’s a good thing to see,” Toney said. “We started making more contact late in the game, and we need to build on that against Brownwood.”