Garrett Gaskamp short-hopped a throw from left field to catcher Daniel Vega as John Guiets crossed the plate for a 3-0 Shoemaker lead.
The next time he got a chance like that to make a big play in the outfield, Gaskamp told Vega, he was going to get it. He did the very next inning.
Gaskamp pulled down Elijah Hilliard’s one-out fly in the top of the fourth and threw down to Vega, who tagged John Ibarra at the plate, and the Roos plated four two-out runs in the bottom of the inning to rally and beat the Grey Wolves 6-5 at Killeen on Friday.
“In baseball, it’s always big to have a big play like that, especially with one out, double-play. That means it’s our time to bat,” Gaskamp said. “It just shows we can get some momentum going, so it’s pretty big.”
Gaskamp started two inning-ending double plays, including one in the third inning that kept the Grey Wolves from adding to their 3-0 lead, and the Killeen offense responded
Rene Ramirez’s double with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning scored Marcos Hinojos and Chris Barber to give the Roos (3-11-1, 2-1 8-5A) a 4-3 lead. Dominique Cowie followed with a single and Gaskamp drove in both Ramirez and Cowie on a single to short stop that he barely beat out and a first base catching error.
“The one (double play) in the third, they had a hit-and-run and they hit a line drive, (Gaskamp) caught it and we got them out (at second base), which was great because we were in a little bit of trouble,” Killeen coach Donald Trcka said. “I know he threw one out here (at home plate) on a fly ball. ... That was a big momentum builder. We took that momentum back and kept it the rest of the night.”
Gaskamp caught Albert Castro’s line drive and threw to shortstop Marcos Hinojos for the second and third outs of the third inning and Daniel Vega’s two-RBI double in the bottom half of the frame plated Ramirez and Gaskamp and cut the Grey Wolves’ lead to 3-2.
“He (Gaskamp) made some good plays out there,” said Shoemaker coach Harry Zambrana. “Things like give the other team all the momentum they need. And they (the Roos) took advantage and they capitalized on it and hats off to them.”
Raven Sauceda, who hit RBI singles in the first and third innings as Shoemaker (9-7, 1-2) took its early lead, hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the sixth inning and Castro scored on Ibarra’s sacrifice fly three batters later to cut the Roos’ 6-3 lead to just one. But Killeen pitcher John Rectorovic induced three straight infield ground balls in the top of the seventh to preserve the Roos’ win.
“I thought that home run was going to give us the boost we needed, but you go 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh doesn’t help,” Zambrana said.
“I told my guys you can’t take anybody lightly in this district, this district’s wide open,” Zambrana added. “We weren’t focused and they put it to us. Lack of focus cost us a 3-0 lead and cost us the ball game.”