BELTON — Tuesday night’s game between Temple and Belton embodied why the teams are going in opposite directions right now. The Tigers have the fundamentals mastered while the Wildcats are struggling to get them down.
Belton dominated at the plate, on the mound and in the field to roll to a 15-0 win over Temple in a rivalry game at Tiger Field.
The Tigers (12-7, 3-0 District 8-5A) showed their prowess with the bats, exemplified by Shane Stafford’s grand slam to left to conclude the scoring in a seven-run third inning.
Most of Belton’s offense in windy conditions came courtesy of a dozen singles, including three by Jayme Kidder. The Tigers scored six runs in the first, fueled by RBI singles to left by Jared Janczak, Chase Sortor and Kidder.
Temple starter Chase Stone (1-3) was touched for 10 runs in 2 1/3 innings.
“We talked yesterday about making them make plays,” Belton head coach Eddie Cornblum said. “Our goal was line drives and ground balls. Then when we got to batting practice today and saw how the wind was, we told our guys to keep the ball out of the air.”
The first inning was more than enough offense for Janczak (4-0), who pitched four shutout innings. Leaning on a curveball with good movement, the TCU signee had eight strikeouts and one walk. The lone hit he allowed was a bloop single to center by Travis Lock to open the second.
“Coach prepared us well,” Janczak said. “We know where to pitch to them. I was just making my pitches. We have been practicing hard every day because we can’t take anybody for granted.”
The Tigers played their second straight error-free game, aided by a play in the fourth by Joey Hogan. The Belton catcher retrieved a wild pitch on a third strike and made a long throw to keep Lock from reaching base in the fourth.
Temple (1-12, 1-2) struggled on defense with three errors, two in the first that helped Belton extend the inning. The Wildcats have been outscored 38-3 in their last two games, including a 23-3 loss to district co-leader Hewitt Midway last Friday.
“It seems like tonight we didn’t do anything,” said Temple head coach Craig Martin. “We didn’t play defense very well, we didn’t pitch very well and obviously didn’t swing the bat very well. It’s not a recipe for success. Belton is a very good ballclub and they made us pay for every mistake we made. We have to work to get better, and there’s a long way to go in the district season.”
Sortor, Coby Potvin and Walker Winders had two hits each for the Tigers. Potvin had an RBI single in the second. Winders drove in two runs in the third.
Belton reliever Kolton Boyd closed it by striking out three in the fifth.
Temple finished with two hits, including a single to right by Tye Ochoa in the fifth.
Temple hosts Ellison on Friday while Belton plays at Copperas Cove.