Tigers roll Ranchview late, 9-0

TYE CHANDLER sports@theglenrosereporter.com
Preston Shuffield leads the offense against Ranchview with a triple and an RBI single, but the senior also manages to toss a two-hit shutout in five innings.

Tiger baseball finally got its Harley "Hogg" Sinclair Memorial Tournament going March 6, and it took four innings before Glen Rose began to roll.

The Tigers (2-1-2) plated eight runs in the fourth to leave Carrollton Ranchview behind for a 9-0 win. Glen Rose finished with more hits (11-2) and fewer errors (2-4).

"We finally got the big hits we needed in the fourth inning to take control," said coach James Evans. "We've got to be more productive at the plate, especially in those situations with runners in scoring position. Our pitching is looking good, and our defense has been solid, so if we can get better at the plate it will be big for us."

Top hitters in the win were Preston Shuffield (triple, single, RBI), Drayton Williams (2 singles, RBI) and Layne McAnear (2 singles, RBI).

"Preston swings the bat well and he can give us some power," Evans said. "Drayton has been swinging the bat real good. Hopefully he keeps it up. Layne did a nice job at the plate."

Other hitters were Camron Rush (single, 2 RBIs), Trey Yocham (single, RBI), Colten Lane (single), Dylan Hammond (single) and Taylor Beckwith (single).

Shuffield (5 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 2 K) went the distance on the hill in a contest that was stopped for time with Glen Rose batting in the fifth.

"Preston did a good job," Evans said. "He kept them off-balance and only gave up a couple of hard hits. It's really good this time of year to see a solid outing like that."

After the Tigers didn't let the Ranchview offense capitalize on an error in the top of the first, Glen Rose went up 1-0 in the home first behind a leadoff Lane single and two errors. Second baseman Halcom registered two outs in the second.

The Tigers loaded the bases in the home second, but didn't extend the lead. Shortstop McAnear handled consecutive fielder's choice plays in the third.

Williams singled to open the home third and Shuffield tripled to deep left-center, but Glen Rose didn't score because Williams' courtesy runner had already been thrown out at second. McAnear handled consecutive outs again in the fourth, after right fielder Jayton Dillard threw a runner out at second on a fielder's choice.

"Cody and Layne made all the routine plays for us," Evans said.

Although Ranchview retired two of the first three Tigers in the home fourth, the floodgates opened. With Halcom already on base (hit by pitch), eight-straight Tigers reached base including Dillard (error), Hammond (single), Williams (RBI single), McAnear (RBI single), Shuffield (RBI single), Yocham (RBI single), Halcom (hit by pitch) and Rush (2-RBI single) to finalize the score.

"That was big for us when Camron drove those guys in," Evans said.

Shuffield worked quickly through the fifth, allowing a single but fielding two groundouts to go with a strikeout. Beckwith hit a one-out single in the home fifth just before time expired.

"These guys have been practicing hard and getting better each day," Evans said. "That's the goal."

After a brief respite, the Tigers took on Tolar and battled to a 7-7 tie. Glen Rose finished with fewer hits (7-8) and more errors (2-0). The Tigers plated a run in their final at bat to salvage the tie.

"That tying run was good to see because the guys fought until the end," Evans said. "Tolar is a solid team that makes all the routine plays."

Hitters were Williams (double, single), Dillard (single, RBI), McAnear (single, RBI), Lane (double), Shuffield (single) and Chance Nabours (single). Hammond added an RBI, while Lane and Rush each drew two walks.

"Drayton swung the bat well once again," Evans said. "He's been coming through at the plate for us. Those walks are big to get Colten on base as our leadoff, plus he's smart on the base paths."

Pitchers for Glen Rose were Lane (4 2/3 IP, 6 R - 5 ER, 7 H, 4 W, 8 K), Nabours (1/3 IP, 1 W, 1 K) and Dillard (1 IP, 1 ER - 1 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K).

"I thought we got squeezed a little behind the plate, but we have to cut back on the walks," Evans said. "It was a good game. We had our opportunities, but we made a few baserunning mistakes."

The Tigers were back in action the next day against Springtown in a 6-2 loss. Glen Rose led 2-1 through five, but Springtown plated five in its last at bat. Glen Rose finished with more hits (6-5) and errors (3-0).

"We gave up an out on a dropped third strike with one out in the fifth, and that hurt," Evans said. "The wheels kind of fell off after that. We played a good game until the last inning. I was very pleased with the first inning (1-0)."

Hitters were Nabours (2 triples), Hammond (single, RBI), Lane (single), Dillard (single) and Rush (single). The Tigers struck out eight times as a team.

"Chance hit two triples, so he's seeing the ball well," Evans said. "You don't see that from a player very often. Their first pitcher was pretty good with movement. Their second pitcher threw pretty hard."

Tiger pitchers were Dillard (5 1/3 IP, 2 R - 1 ER, 4 H, 6 K) and Devin Crawford (2/3 IP, 4 R - 3 ER, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K).

"Jayton pitched well, but he was on a tight leash for pitch count," Evans said. "We had a few defensive mistakes when Devin was pitching, and that made it hard on him. We were without Layne McAnear and Cody Halcom, and that's our starting middle infield, plus another middle infielder was unavailable with Jayton pitching."

The Tigers return to action March 12 and March 14 in the Ponder Tournament.

"We have two games Thursday and then we'll be back Saturday for one more," Evans said. "We need to have a good outing, especially heading into district. The game experience in our tournament was much-needed after all the bad weather."