Ellison did not need to generate offensive momentum. The Eagles already possessed it.
After narrowly defeating Shoemaker 1-0 in its District 8-6A opener Tuesday, Ellison did not wait for Friday’s rematch to return to the field. Instead, the Eagles traveled to San Marcos on Thursday, exploding for their most runs in a game this season en route to a 16-10 victory.
And the road trip immediately paid dividends.
Ellison produced nine hits, including a pair of home runs, and beat the Grey Wolves 10-6 to sweep the series, and following the afternoon encounter, Eagles head coach Ty Oppermann admitted the outcome was partially a result of the extra innings a day prior.
“We’re swinging the bats better,” he said. “We were able to get some work in yesterday, and it carried over.
“Everybody was very disciplined, and it was just a good team effort of baseball to get runs in.”
Eagles right fielder Kristopher Medina, who recorded a team-high three RBIs in a 2-for-2 showing, agrees.
“I was feeling confident at the plate,” the senior said. “I think we were all feeling confident after scoring 16 runs.
“Now, we score 10, so I think we’re feeling pretty good, and we’ve just got to keep this rolling.”
Ellison (10-5, 2-0) took control almost immediately.
After leaving runners stranded on second and third base in the first inning, Eagles left fielder Carlos Felix delivered the game’s opening run off teammate Julien Jimenez’s sacrifice fly. In the following at bat, Brian Gardner’s second hit sent a pair of runners across home plate, opening Ellison’s advantage to 3-0 entering the third inning.
The gap grew to 5-0, when Preston Mills connected on a solo home run to left field and Medina hit a standup double to score courtesy runner Josiah Cabeza.
But in the fourth inning, Shoemaker responded.
Grey Wolves second baseman Kevin Mial sent a pitch over the left-field wall for two runs, but the Eagles answered in the bottom of the inning as second baseman Kenneth Rodriguez’s home run made the score 6-2. Rodriguez, who also hit a double, was 2 for 3.
Ellison captured complete control in the fifth inning, scoring three runs highlighted by Medina’s two-RBI double to inflate its cushion to 9-3.
“Kristopher took advantage of his playing time,” Oppermann said. “He got a couple huge hits for us that really got us going.”
Shoemaker (3-9-1, 0-2) outscored the Eagles during the duration of the game as Mial, Maker Nena, Carlos Rivera and Ben Hamilton all crossed home plate before the contest concluded with three Grey Wolves stranded.
Although the late production did not lead to a comeback, it is beneficial, according to Shoemaker head coach Robert Conley.
“It’s important to have that resiliency,” he said. “I know it doesn’t matter what the score is. We are always going to have a chance, because these kids aren’t going to just let the other team walk out and have a win.
“They’re going to have to earn it.”
The Eagles will look to maintain their undefeated status in district Tuesday, when they travel to San Angelo Central.
“My guys just quietly go about their business,” Oppermann said. “You won’t hear much from them, and they don’t let anything bother them, but this group has been playing with confidence all year.
“They expect to do well moving forward.”
DISTRICT 8-6A SCORES
- Belton 6, Harker Heights 3
- Ellison 10, Shoemaker 6
- Killeen 6, San Angelo Central 5
- Waco Midway 4, Copperas Cove 2