Win Keeps Slocum Second in District 21-AA
By Will Johnson
NORTH ZULCH – A 3-2 win over the North Zulch Bulldogs on Tuesday night coupled with Lovelady’s 5-4 loss to Centerville gives the Slocum Mustangs sole possession of second place in District 21-AA and keeps them a half game behind the Grapeland Sandies in the race for the district crown.
The Mustangs traveled to North Zulch earlier this week to play the Bulldogs and got involved in a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel. Slocum’s Taylor Hunt picked up the win with 5.2 innings of work. He gave up two runs on two hits, struck out six and walked four.
Colton Peters was credited with a save as he pitched 1.1 innings in relief. He gave up one hit and struck out two.
North Zulch’s Michael Harris was the hard luck loser of the game. He gave up three runs on five hits, struck out nine and walked two.
As the game got underway, Harris gave up a single to Hunt – his mound counterpart – and then retired the next three Mustangs he faced.
Hunt was equally as effective when he took the hill. After he struck out Cole Weaver to open the bottom of the first, Harris returned the favor and singled into left. Hunt then retired the next two batters he faced to end the inning and send the game into the second.
Slocum mounted a scoring threat in the top of the second after Peters led off the inning with a single. With Dustin Fletcher at the plate, Peters swiped second and advanced to third on a passed ball.
Fletcher struck out on a full count and left Peters at third. He was followed in the order by Randy Guess, but on a 1-2 count Peters attempted to steal home and was tagged out at the plate.
Guess walked but Ben Haney grounded out to second to end the Slocum at-bat and let Harris off the hook.
In the bottom of the second, Hunt walked Kaleb Holder and Stephen Harris to open up the inning. He then coaxed a pop up to shallow center which held the runners in place. Next, Hunt struck out a swinging Nolan Diserens and then caught Tyler Holder looking at a called third strike.
After a quiet third inning, the Mustangs broke the scoring drought and crossed the dish three times in the fourth.
Austin Sarraf led off the inning and reached on an error. Taylor Lomax moved him to second base with a single to left.
Following a Harris strikeout of Peters, Fletcher ripped a double into the center field gap to score Sarraf and move Lomax to third. Guess followed with a single to right which plated Lomax and Fletcher to make the score 3-0.
The score remained that way until the bottom of the sixth. With Hunt still on the mound, M. Harris drew a four pitch walk. The Slocum pitcher managed to get the next batter to pop up after M. Harris stole second.
Hunt then hit Tyler Wallace with a pitch to put runners at first and second with one out. A pop fly from Kaleb Holder gave the Bulldogs two outs but then Hunt walked Harris to load the bases.
That was all she wrote for Hunt who was relieved by Sarraf. Sarraf promptly walked Blake Housley to push M. Harris across the plate. He also walked Disirens which drove in Wallace and made the score 3-2.
The Mustangs went to their bullpen, once again, after the Bulldogs cut the lead to one and brought Peters to the mound. Needing a big play from the defense, Peters got Holder to hit a dribbler in front of the plate that catcher Andrew Abernathy was able to field and then step on home plate for the third out.
M. Harris retired the Mustangs in order during the top of the seventh and the Bulldogs looked to have the momentum on their side after Weaver led off the bottom of the final frame with a single. Peters was having none of it, however, as he struck out the next two batters he faced and then forced a grounder from Wallace to end the game.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.