Landon Maxwell was 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs and the Belton Tigers scored in every inning of an 11-0, five-inning victory over Killeen on Tuesday night.
Aaron Krueger homered and drove in three runs for the Tigers, who won their third straight to begin District 8-6A play.
“That’s good, but it’s still early,” Tigers coach Mark Krueger said. “Every game is important, so we’re not looking ahead. We’re looking towards Friday to face these guys one more time.”
Killeen coach Donald Trcka made three pitching changes throughout the game, but nothing seemed to work against Belton.
“We wanted to get a little bit longer out of our guys, but they struggled a little bit.”
The Tigers’ bats woke up early in the top of the first with a home run from Krueger that brought in two runs and put Belton ahead 2-0.
Killeen quickly found itself surrounded by red as the bases were loaded in the top of the second. Trcka made a trip to the mound for a meeting with starting pitcher Tavion Grant as Krueger came up to bat again.
Krueger drove in Holden Goldston with his third RBI and Belton led 3-0.
Grant worked through two complete innings before walking Reese Perry in the top of the third. Trcka then moved Grant to third and put shortstop Bo Buckley on the mound. Lanzo Alnaldo moved from third to shortstop.
Buckley got two outs but couldn’t end the inning before Hunter Teplansky hit a line drive into left field for a double that brought three runs in for a 6-0 Belton lead.
Krueger opened the fourth by reaching on an error. Catcher’s interference allowed another Tiger runner to get on base before Buckley walked Perry and loaded the bases once more.
Maxwell found a hole in left field for a double, clearing the bases and adding three more runs to Belton’s lead. He tried stretching his hit into a triple but Grant was there first with the tag.
Belton held a 10-0 lead over Killeen as the Roos came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning but they came up empty again.
Killeen looked to adjust once more with another pitching change that moved Kevin Vargas-Cruz from second base to the hill. Buckley went back to shortstop and Alnaldo returned to third.
In the fifth inning, an RBI double from Landon Maxwell allowed Cameron Parker to score and cap the scoring.
The five-inning mercy rule ended the game when Killeen failed to score in the bottom of the inning.
“We’ve got to pitch better,” Trcka said after his three pitchers totaled nine walks and hit three batters. “That’s tough to cover come any night, so we’re going to go back to the drawing board tomorrow and start working on it so that our pitchers are ready to go.”
As Killeen heads to Belton on Friday night, Trcka and his team are focused on leaving this one behind.
“It’s a new start,” he said. “We’re going to get back to work tomorrow and be better prepared.
“We’ll be a lot better on Friday.”
TUESDAY'S DISTRICT 8-6A SCORES
- Belton 11, Killeen 0, 5 inn.
- Copperas Cove 4, Shoemaker 1
- San Angelo Central 6, Ellison 1
- Waco Midway 11, Harker Heights 0, 6 inn.