One round down, o ne round to go; and still an unblemished district record.
Glen Rose successfully navigated through the first round of District 7-3A play, including three road games against the top competitors in the district, and came away unscathed after a 2-0 win at West on Tuesday.
“It was a great game,” said Glen Rose head coach Kenny Toney. “If you were there just to watch a baseball game, it was a great game to watch. We made plays when we had to; for instance, Zac (Pritchard) made a great catch in the bottom of the sixth inning. West had a runner on third with two outs and a left handed batter hit a hard, dying line drive to the gap and Zac made a diving catch to end the inning. If he doesn’t make that catch, then West has the lead.”
In a big-time game, Toney turned to the ace of the Tiger staff and Derek Thompson was up to the challenge.
Thompson tossed a complete game, four-hit shutout and struck out 10 batters.
“To me, it wasn’t his best performance,” said Toney. “But the competitor in him made him good. He made his pitches when he needed to, and I told the guys, ‘All he needs is one run.’”
The offense was basically dormant all night, but put runs on the board for the first time in the seventh.
Colt Plaster led off the inning with a double — his only hit of the contest - then a sacrifice bunt by Ty Taylor sent Plaster to third before an errant throw by the Trojan fielder allowed the first run to cross the dish.
With Taylor standing on second, Thompson moved him to third with a grounder to the right side of the infield and Jacob Goebel drove him in with a sacrifice fly to left center for the insurance run.
No Tiger had more than one hit in the game, with Plaster, Regan Rotan, Dylan Rodriguez, RJ Nowak, Shelby Junge and Immanuel Morales supplying base knocks.
This win gives the Tigers “home field advantage” throughout the remainder of the regular season.
Following the West performance, Glen Rose began round two with a trip to Whitney and walked away the 13-6 victors.
Morales took the bump and tossed six innings, allowing three runs - only of two of them earned - five hits and four walks while striking out nine.
“Immanuel did a very good job. He looked stronger and had more command than he did in his first outing,” said Toney.
Nowak came in to shut the door, but trouble in the seventh inning delayed the inevitable.
Three Tiger errors allowed three runs to score in the seventh, but Nowak responded by recording all three outs himself via strikes.
“It was an ugly win,” said Toney. “We started by hitting the ball hard in the first inning, but then we went up there and didn’t have good at bats. We seem like we got complacent and that carried over to our defense. We took for granted that we were going to beat them and we weren’t as sharp.”
Rotan went 3-5 with a run scored, while Plaster scored twice after reaching on a walk and a single.
Taylor and Thompson went a combined 5-8 from the three and four holes in the lineup, which was highlighted by two Taylor runs and five Thompson RBIs — three of which came on a home run.
Goebel went 3-5 with a double, two runs and an RBI, while Nowak went 2-3 with a run and a ribbie.
The bottom third of the order saw a double, runs scored and an RBI from Shelby Junge, three RBIs on a 2-4 night from Morales and a 1-2 performance with two runs and a walk by Dylan Rodriguez.
Glen Rose hosted Gatesville on Tuesday and remains home when China Spring makes the trip on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. first pitch.