AUSTIN — The Killeen Kangaroos, Harker Heights Knights, Shoemaker Grey Wolves and Ellison Eagles anticipated a final opportunity to get some quality work in before district play at the Austin Baseball Tournament on Saturday.
But it turns out that Mother Nature recorded the biggest putout of the day.
A mid-morning rainstorm forced the cancellation of six of the seven games involving Killeen ISD teams during the tournament’s final day.
“It’s disappointing in the fact that the kids were ready to play, but it’s also kind of a blessing because they get a little rest before we get into district play,” Killeen head coach Donald Trcka said.
Heights (8-4-1) was the only KISD team that got a game in as they blew out Austin Eastside Memorial 10-0 in four innings before the storm system came into the area.
The Knights opened the tournament with a loss to Austin Lake Travis, but rebounded to beat Del Valle and Eastside Memorial. Heights was scheduled to play Georgetown East View on Saturday night.
“We hit the ball a little bit, moved around and took care of business,” Heights head coach Glenn Cunningham said. The Roos (3-8-1) had a dominating 14-0 win over Austin Travis on Friday afternoon, but fell to Austin Lanier 6-3 later that night.
Killeen was slated to play Austin Anderson and Del Valle on Saturday and Trcka said the team will use the final weekend as a way to prepare and build momentum for Tuesday’s district opener.
“We’re getting into district and it’s going to be a team effort,” Trcka said. “We’re going to need everybody at some time to step up.”
The Roos played the tournament without Doug Bell who was resting his arm.
Shoemaker (5-6) opened the tournament with a loss to Kerrville Tivy, picked up a win via forfeit over Austin Eastside Memorial and lost to Austin McCallum on Friday.
Shoemaker was supposed to play Lockhart and Hutto in a Saturday night doubleheader.
Grey Wolves head coach Harry Zambrana said that despite the losses, the team learned and gained some valuable experience before district play.
“Even though we lost more games than we’d like to, I think we’re pretty much ready for district play and everybody understands what we need to do,” Zambrana said.
Ellison (2-11) lost all four games in the tournament and had its Saturday matchup with McCallum cancelled due to rain.
Ellison head coach Ty Oppermann had an impromptu practice at the school on Saturday morning.
“I think we still got better today because they showed up and had a good attitude about getting work in,” Oppermann said. “So at least we improved today even though we didn’t get to play a game.”
District play gets underway on Tuesday with Killeen hosting Copperas Cove, Shoemaker hosting Temple, Ellison visiting Waco Midway and Harker Heights traveling to Belton.