Flash Staff Report
(March 5, 2018) — Stephenville played four games over three days, three of them against Conference 5A opponents and won twice with a tie and a loss.
The Yellow Jackets sailed to wins of 9-1 against Fort Worth South Hills Thursday and 16-3 over FW North Side in the second of two games on Friday. They also tied 4-4 Friday with Azle and made up most of an early six-run deficit against Kennedale Saturday but they couldn’t complete the rally in a 6-4 loss.
The biggest highlight of the weekend came in the first game when Daniel Luna pitched five innings of no-hit baseball, a positive sign for a team with open competition for the No. 2 starting slot behind senor Easton Jones.
South Hills didn’t present the most explosive of lineups, but Luna honed in and relied on efficiency as if he were at Midlothian Heritage pitching for a share of the district lead. There were seven ground outs and five fly outs along with the five batters he struck out.
There were a pair of walks, but Luna was virtually flawless on the hill, needing only 83 pitches to survive 5 innings and two outs of the sixth. A hit and a run Luna was responsible for via a base on balls came after he was relieved.
Stephenville provided plenty of run support that Luna didn’t need, with Kade Averhoff going 3-for-4 with 2 runs, Gage Graham 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs, Easton Jones and Clay Krause each uploading doubles and each going 2-for-3. Both scored a run, Krause had 2 RBI and Jones also worked a walk. Storrs didn’t need a hit to drive two across the plate.
The Yellow Jackets scored four runs in the second and eight in the third in the rout of North Side. Seven batters had two hits each for Stephenville, which used 15 hits and six North Side errors to make it a yawner.
Gage Graham, Nolan Carroll, Gabe Moore, Tyeler Reed, Anthony Wehnert, Cole Smith and Luna all had two base knocks with the 15th going to Trace Morrison. A third of the hits were doubles including both of Moore’s Luna, Graham and Carroll also ripped two baggers.
When More wasn’t swinging away for extra-base hits he was striking out North Side batters with extreme efficiency. He needed only 67 pitches – 49 of them strikes – to work nine strikeouts over five innings. :That’s just 13.4 pitches per inning even with six hits and a walk.
The tie with Azle came in a game head coach Justin Swenson certainly feels his team should have won.The Hornets stung twice for runs in the top of the sixth, and the tournament drop dead rule did not allow the Yellow Jackets to finish batting in the bottom of the inning.
Morrison started on the hill and pitched well enough to win, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out five and walking four. He fired 90 pitches over five innings. Cole Stanley took over in the sixth, when Azle battled back.
Luna was the leader at the plate in the tie, going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and a walk. He drove in one run and scored another.
Averhoff ripped a 2-run triple and Moore added an RBI-double against Kennedale but the only remaining hits were singles by Storrs and Derek Gifford.
Only half the Kennedale runs were earned against Mason Castleberry, who went 2.1 innings before scoreless relief appearances lasting 2 innings from Zane Smith and 1.2 innings from Caleb Smith. Each SHS pitcher allowed a pair of hits, All three errors came during Castleberry’s time on the mound, leading to three unearned runs and a tie instead of a win.