Shoemaker head baseball coach Harry Zambrana has been stressing to the Grey Wolves the importance of beating out infield hits, bunting runners over and taking advantage of opportunities.
On Tuesday the small-ball philosophy led to a big win.
The Grey Wolves put up nine runs in the bottom of the third en route to an 11-7 win over cross-town rival Killeen at Shoemaker High School.
“We’re a small-ball team and when we execute our bunts, good things happen,” Zambrana said. “Everybody bunted and good things happened.”
The win was Shoemaker’s first in District 8-5A play and first in 19 days. Shoemaker (7-9. 1-2) entered the contest having lost eight of its last nine games.
Wade Corn went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored while Zach Jacobs went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored and Raven Sauceda was also 2 for 3 and scored three times.
After the Roos put up five runs on two hits to take a 6-1 lead in the top of the third, Shoemaker started laying down bunts and forcing Killeen to get them out.
“I just wanted to get off the field,” Corn said about the middle of the third. “I knew we were going to come back and score so I wanted to come back and hit.”
Corn led off the inning with a bunt single, Jose Casillas reached on an infield error after bunting and Jacobs’ bunt-single loaded the bases with no outs.
Corn scored on a sacrifice fly by Broderick Reed and from there the floodgates opened.
Tommie Flores brought home a run on an RBI single to right, Corn added another run on a double to left and Jacobs’ triple to right plated two more. Shoemaker brought home nine runs on five hits to take a 10-6 lead and control of the game.
Sauceda scored Shoemaker’s final run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth and Killeen didn’t get to Casillas, who came in to pitch in relief until Chris Barber’s fielder’s choice in the top of the seventh made it 11-7.
Three of Shoemaker’s 11 runs were either unearned or came across because of Killeen errors.
“We had some costly errors that cost us the ball game,” Killeen head coach Donald Trcka said. “We’re going to continue to keep fighting, keep working our kids hard and continue to improve.”
Senior infielder Garrett Gaskamp led the Killeen offense going 2 for 2 with two runs scored and a solo homer to left that put the Roos on the board in the top of the first.
Barber also had a strong game going 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
“I think the win is big for our kids,” Zambrana said.
“For them to see that all the work we put in and all the hours that we spent out here is for something.”
The Grey Wolves look for their second consecutive home win on Friday when they host Harker Heights while the Roos chase their first district win when they host Waco Midway.
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com