BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
It doesn’t take a baseball fan very long to figure out what kind of a baseball team the De Leon Bearcats are if they just take a glance through the statistics.
Let’s see two pitchers that have pitched 39 or more inning and no losses. CHECK!
A team batting average of .395. CHECK!
Six players batting .406 or better DOUBLE CHECK!
A fielding percent of 96.4 TRIPLE CHECK!
Need one say more?
DeLeon is loaded in 2018 with a 23-2 overall record and perhaps the most impressive thing about that mark is the Bearcats started the season 1-2. Since dropping a 7-6 game to Hamilton March 2, the Bearcats haven’t lost a game going 22-0 since that time.
Pitching has obviously helped the Bearcats and DeLeon has ridden the arms of Bryce Whiteley (10-0) and Kevin Yeager (8-0) while pounding out hit after hit at the plate. Both players have been a force at the plate too. Whiteley has a team-leading .508 average and a .708 slugging percentage.
Yeager’s clean pitching slate has been highlighted by 60 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 39 innings of work. Jake Sanders who picked up both victories in the regional quarterfinals while pitching in relief and three saves in 27 innings of work.
At the plate, DeLeon gets production from its entire roster with players like Blake Bellomy 34 hits, Joey Garcia 10 doubles, Yeager and Mattson Locke two triples, Whiteley and Martin two home runs highlighting the statistics.
There’s a clear absence big hitting as the Bearcats specialize in hitting the ball to open spots and it’s game they work on every day toward the end of practice. The drill features a 7-on-7 mini-scrimmage (three minutes a side) where there is no catcher and a coach is throwing pitches. The idea is to reach third base for a score and the action gets as intense as a real game.
Intensity along with an even keel is just what the Bearcats will need against New Deal a team that also carries a gaudy win record of 26-3. A serious positive for DeLeon is New Deal is beatable with Post tagging them with a 9-6 loss sandwiched around their 8-5 and 15-8 wins.
New Deal’s two other losses came in back to back games in late March with 6-0 and 11-10 miscues against Floydada and Abernathy
DeLeon versus New Deal
Game one is scheduled for noon Friday at McMurry University in Abilene and admission is $8 for adult and $5 for students. The out of normal game time is to accommodate graduation for both schools Game two is set for noon in Snyder and if a game three is needed it will follow 30 minutes later. Admission for Saturday’s contest is $5 for adults and $3 for students.