SALADO — Senior Casey Frazier took the mound for host Salado against the Jarrell Cougars on Friday with a won-loss record of 6-1 and ERA of 0.67.
He threw nine pitches in the first inning, seven were strikes, and two of the Cougars struck out.
Frazier fired 11 pitches to Jarrell in the second inning, nine were strikes — three of them foul balls — and he retired the side in order.
So, after two innings worked, Frazier had struck out four of the six batters he faced, walked none and, of course, yielded no runs.
There was no official clock. But Frazier’s fastballs were clearly zipping in the mid 80s. And when Jarrell was thinking fastball, Frazier sliced the Cougars with a fall-off-the-table curveball that was moving like an angry hornet.
Truth be told, if Frazier, simply out of courtesy, would have allowed Jarrell to continue to stay up at the plate until July, the Cougars still wouldn’t have tagged him for a run.
But Salado led 4-0 after two innings, and Eagles head coach Chad Krempin mercifully pulled his ace and allowed three
other pitchers to finish this one up.
The final score was 8-0 and all three Eagle relievers — Drew Van Winkle, Britton Hawes and Davis Little — were superb, too.
The win upped Salado’s District 22-2A record to 9-2 (16-7-1) overall. Jarrell fell to 2-8 in district play.
“Casey had it going tonight,” said Eagles catcher Cole Haag. “He was in a great groove.”
“That’s typical Casey out there,” said Krempin. “He’s only walked three or four batters all season. I only called fastballs and curves for him. I could have called a knuckleball just to give him some more work on that pitch, but it wasn’t necessary.”
“I just wanted to attack the strike zone tonight,” Frazier said. “I always go into a game with the goal of shutting the other team down. If you keep pounding the strike zone, mix up your speeds, move in, move out, you’ll get the job done most of the time.”
Van Winkle struck out three in two innings of work and yielded only one hit. Hawes threw two innings and gave up just two hits.
Little pitched the seventh frame, yielded no hits and struck out two of the three Cougars he faced.
“Casey was a tough act to follow tonight,” Van Winkle said. “But it was important for all of us to get some work because we feel we have one of the best pitching staffs in the state and we need to get ready for the playoffs.”
Salado was led on offense by Keaton Mims who smashed an off-the-wall double in the first inning and ended the night 3 for 4 with two RBIs.
“I thought that first hit was out of the park,” Mims said. “But it was still a good way to start the game for us.”
Haag was 2 for 4 with a triple, teammates Chase Basham, Jake Bloomer and Barrett Snyder each had an RBI, Caden Eary was 2 for 2 — including a double — and Little, Hawes and Jacob Little each had a single.
The Eagles have four contests left in the regular season with an outside shot of catching district-leader Rogers (10-0).
“At the beginning of the season, of course we wanted to win the district,” Frazier said. “But, unfortunately, we had those two tough losses — one to Rogers, the other to Cameron — so to win district now we’ll need some help from other teams. So right now our ultimate goal is to start well in the playoffs, get hot, and then make a long, long run.
“We’re confident we can do that.”