AUSTIN — When Austin Travis shortstop Manuel Rodriguez calmly laid down a bunt for an infield single to lead off the bottom of the first, Killeen starting pitcher Chris Barber didn’t worry about it.
Luckily, he has a short memory to go along with a good array of pitches.
“I just got it out of my head, kept moving on and got the rest of them out,” Barber said.
Barber pitched a four-inning gem, allowing just one hit while the Roos bats broke out in a 14-0 Killeen rout of Travis at Hyde Park Baptist High School on Friday.
The win was Killeen’s (3-8-1) first of the Austin Baseball Tournament after losing to Austin Crockett on Thursday. The Roos lost their nightcap to Austin Lanier 6-3 at Nelson Field.
“The kids came out and fought after we had a tough loss last night,” Killeen head coach Donald Trcka said. “They came out, fought, worked really hard and we got a good victory.”
Only three Rebels reached base on Barber who allowed just one hit while striking out eight batters in a game that ended after four innings due to the mercy rule.
Barber retired the final nine batters he faced and struck out eight of the first 12 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the second, and allowed just one walk.
“He was on it,” Killeen sophomore catcher Wes Brooks said. “He was just throwing strikes and the umpire was working with us. He was just on it; his curve ball was looking good.”
After the Rodriguez bunt, Travis looked to get things going as Anthony Castro drew a two-out walk to put runners on first and second, but Barber struck out Jacob Brewer to end the only threat of the day.
The Roos offense had no issues putting up some run support for Barber as nine starters and subs got hits.
It was the bottom of the Killeen lineup that broke the score open in the top of the second as Devyn Darnell, Adrian Spencer and Jequell Johnson strung together consecutive singles to lead off the inning and Darnell got the Roos on the board by coming home on a double steal.
“We started to jump on the ball more the second inning,” Johnson said. “The coaches told us to be aggressive and stay aggressive all game.”
Jacob Hinojos brought in a run on a walk, Rene Ramirez’s fly ball led to an error to bring in another run and Barber added an RBI single later in the inning.
The Roos got seven runs on four hits while sending 12 players to the plate.
“Everyone started seeing the ball better, started raring back and crushing the ball,” Barber said.
Marquis Winston scored the eighth Roo run in the top of the second after walking and stealing second, third and home in that inning.
Senior Dale Wilmet came in during the top of the seventh and had a two-RBI double. Garrett Gaskamp had the final RBI of the day with a single that made it 14-0 Killeen.
Wilmet, Gaskamp, Spencer, and Johnson combined to go 4 for 6 with three RBIs and six runs scored.
Winston went 2 for 3 with a run scored while Spencer and Brooks both had RBIs against Lanier.
The Roos conclude tournament play today with a doubleheader at Nelson Field (7400 Berkman Dr.). Killeen takes on Austin Anderson at noon and Del Valle at 5 p.m.