Tigers down unbeaten Jackets in extra innings

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — With four district games left in the 2022 season, the Glen Rose Tigers are in complete control of their playoff destiny.

The thing we like going into these last couple of weeks is that we are in control of how we'll finish in the district standings,” Glen Rose baseball coach Heath Herron said. “We can earn our way into the playoffs, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I fully expect the players to step up and continue on with the momentum we have been building as of late.”

Jake Gilbreath, seen here earlier in the year against McGregor, homered in the wins over Stephenville and Haltom over the weekend at Tiger Field.

The Tigers had a bye in district play this entire week, and they host Lampasas on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m., on Senior Night in the first of two remaining games with the Badgers. They will host Hamilton in a non-district game on Thursday 

Currently, the Tigers are 9-12 overall and 3-5 in district play, and they stand in a three-way for third with Lampasas and Brownwood. The Tigers beat previously unbeaten Stephenville, 7-6 in eight innings at home on Friday night to put themselves in a great position down the stretch to make the playoffs after going 0-12 in district play last year.

The Tigers were 0-2 against Stephenville this year before pulling off the upset.

“Losing 10-0 twice previously to Stephenville, it would have been easy for us to lay down and not put up much of a fight,” Herron said. 

Starter Jake West and reliever Brandt Fowler limited the Stephenville offense to just six runs on three hits, while striking out seven. West went the first three and gave up five earned before Fowler twirled the final five to earn the win. 

“Both of them performed really well on the mound,” Herron said. “Coach Cordova had a great plan going into the game and we did a pretty good job of executing that plan. I was most proud of how they competed and were able to get out of some jams. If our guys on the mound are consistently around the strike zone early in at-bats then we can be very competitive and have a chance to win ball games.”

The Tigers got on the board first in the bottom of the second on a sac fly by Damian Flores. 

The Yellow Jackets took the lead at 4-1 in the top of the third with four runs. Jake Gilbreath homered to lead off the bottom of the third, and Christian De La Cruz, who reached on an error, eventually scored on a squeeze bunt by Camden Raymond to cut the lead to 4-3.

After the Yellow Jackets scored in the top of the fourth, Braulio Silva and Gilbreath drove in runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 5-5. The two teams added runs in the fifth, and the score remained that way until the Tigers scored the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth. 

With two outs, Eisan Sanchez and Bodee Mausser drew walks, and Sanchez eventually scored on a base knock by Silva, who finished with a pair of hits. 

“We have stayed in the players’ ears all year that we can beat good teams if we will execute parts of the game that have to be executed in order to beat good teams,” Herron said. “Good defense, throw strikes, bunt game, quality at-bats are a few examples of that in which we did a much better job of Friday night.”

Glen Rose 9, Haltom 3: The Tigers avenged a loss to the Buffaloes earlier in the year with their second straight win on Saturday. Gilbreath belted a three-run homer, and Silva, Cannon Harper, De La Cruz and Reese Villarreal drove in single runs for the Tigers. Caden Hunka and J.T. Thompson teamed up for the victory on the mound. Hunka allowed two runs on three hits and struck out two in four innings, while Thompson allowed one run on one hit and struck out one in three innings.