Tigers open district play with win over Brownwood

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

BROWNWOOD — After going the 2021 season without a district win, the Glen Rose baseball team didn’t waste any time getting on the board in 2022 with a 6-2 district-opening victory over Brownwood on Tuesday night.

Glen Rose's Cannon Harper takes a pitch off the leg in the Tigers' contest with Grandview last Thursday on the first day of the Harley Hogg tournament at Tiger Field.

“Last year was last year, and the kids know that,” Glen Rose baseball coach Heath Herron said. “We have to continue focusing on improving on the little things so that big things can happen. It is still a process, and we must get better at those little things. The kids have bought in and believe in what we're doing and are starting to believe that we can win in big ball games.”

The Tigers rode the arms of Jake West and Brandt Fowler who limited the Lions to just two runs on three hits while striking out 14 while overcoming 10 walks and stranding 10 Lion baserunners.

“Pitching kept us in the game,” Herron said. “Jake just battled his butt off without his best stuff. He overcame a couple of defensive lapses and just competed on the mound. Brandt got out of some jams as well toward the end of the ball game. Both of them just competed. When guys did get on base, they both stepped up and made quality pitches in big moments.”

The Tigers got on the board in the top of first when lead-off hitter Christian De La Cruz singled and eventually scored on a passed ball. They went up 2-0 on a two-out double by Damian Flores to score Colton McDonald who reached on a dropped third strike.

The Lions finally got to West with a run in the third with a hit and three walks. West wiggled out of a big mess by striking out the final two hitters in the inning with the bases loaded.

The Lions tied the score at 2-2 with a run in the fourth before West gave way to Fowler, who didn’t allow a run the remainder of the game while striking out eight.

With two outs in the fifth, the Tigers took the lead for good when De La Cruz reached on an error and scored on a base knock by Bodee Mausser. The Tigers tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh for good measure.

With the win, the Tigers improve to 3-7 overall and 1-0 in District 6-4A play. They were riding a seven-game losing streak before they beat Springtown 5-3 on Saturday in the final game of the Harley Hogg tournament in Glen Rose.

“The Springtown win was big for us,” Herron said. “We've talked to the kids a lot about momentum and how important it is.”

The Tigers hope to keep that momentum going when they host Keene at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at Tiger Field before jumping back into district play on Tuesday when they host Stephenville at 7 p.m. They travel to Clifton on Wednesday before shutting down for spring break.

In the Harley Hogg tournament, the Tigers dropped decisions to Ponder (3-2), Waxahachie Life School (7-4), Grandview (8-6) and Trinity Valley (15-12) before beating Springtown (5-3).

In the tournament, Mausser went 7 for 17 with two triples, four stolen bases and three RBIs; Jake Gilbreath went 6 for 15 with three doubles and four RBIs; Reese Villareal went 6 for 14 with a double and eight RBIs; De La Cruz went 6 for 17 with two doubles and three RBIs; Braulio Silva went 5 for 14 with two doubles, three RBIs and three stolen bases; and Cannon Harper went 5 for 11 and was hit seven times.