WACO — Jose Casillas may only be in his second season of playing varsity baseball for the Shoemaker Grey Wolves, but he knows that, at times, the game requires a lot of thinking, anticipating and reaction.
But when he’s on the mound and feeling it, it’s as simple as getting it in the zone.
“It’s pretty simple; just throw strikes and hit your spots,” Casillas said. “That’s it.”
The Grey Wolves used a strong outing by Casillas along with a big fifth inning to beat the Ellison Eagles 5-2 during the Waco ISD Tournament finale at the Waco ISD Sports Complex on Saturday.
Casillas had a shutout through five innings and ended up allowing two earned runs on nine hits while striking out three Eagles (2-3).
“We had some tension between Ellison and us during the scrimmages so it felt good to come and show them up,” Casillas said.
The teams were scoreless through four complete innings until the Grey Wolves (4-1) jumped out to a big lead with five runs on three hits in the top of the fifth.
Raven Sauceda got the Grey Wolves on the board with a two-RBI single to left that brought home Alex Bartz and Tommie Flores to make it 2-0.
Wade Corn and Noah Fullnara added RBI singles late in the inning and Roberto Delgado helped add to a score after helping bring in a run on a fielder's choice.
“It took us awhile to get hot, but when we got hot, some good things happened,” Shoemaker head coach Harry Zambrana said. “We had base runners and we executed. It’s always good to get a win, regardless of who it is (against).”
No Shoemaker players recorded multiple hits, but the Grey Wolves got RBIs, hits and runs scored from players batting in the top, middle and bottom of the order.
Sauceda led the Shoemaker offense, going 1 for 2 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Despite allowing four earned runs in the top of the fifth, Ellison (2-3) starter Taylor Jacobs had a strong outing on the hill while fighting off the effects of the flu.
The junior allowed four earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two and didn’t allow a hit until the fifth.
Jacobs did not make the trip during Thursday’s opening day of the tournament, but returned on Friday to hit a three-run homer in a 7-4 win over Groesbeck.
“They had a couple of timely hits, give it to Shoemaker,” first-year Ellison head coach Ty Oppermann said. “They executed when they got a couple of runners on, they had timely hits.”
Despite the five-run hole, the Eagles got some late offense, with six of their hits coming in the final two innings.
Senior third baseman Sam Weston got the Eagles on the board after bringing in a run on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the sixth and senior shortstop A.J. Frecatore capped the scoring with an RBI single to right in the seventh.
Weston and Frecatore combined to go 4 for 5 with two RBIs.
“I was proud of the kids and they way they stepped up and made it competitive in the end of the game,” Oppermann said. “We’ve got some kids that have not seen as much playing time that got some experience there at the end. All in all, it was good for our entire team today.”
Both teams return home on Thursday to compete in the Killeen ISD Baseball Tournament.
Contact Albert Alvarado at firstname.lastname@example.org