By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON - Blayten Magana understands the plan.
He understands he won't strike out 10 batters every night like some of his Belton pitching predecessors that have gone onto the next level like Baylor's Dillon Newman. But he knows what he has to do to get his team a win.
"I have been working with my coaches and looking at scouting reports," Magana said. "That is the big thing. I look at it at home, study it and find the spots I am supposed to hit and follow the plan."
Magana pitched a complete-game shutout as Belton defeated Temple 7-0 Friday and pulled a game ahead of the Wildcats in the District 12-5A standings.
"I think we are hitting at the right time right now and peaking when we need to," said Belton coach Eddie Cornblum. "I think they are excited about what is down the road for them and this was a big win."
Magana only struck out two Wildcat batters, but kept them off balance all night.
The senior allowed four hits and four walks, but never had a Temple (14-13, 7-4) runner pass second base.
"It is always big when we score runs," Magana said. "I feel more comfortable and more like myself. But, I give it all to my defense. I was up there trying to get outs and they came through for me."
Max Hogan, who was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, got things going in the first inning for the Tigers (15-10, 8-3). After Shane Ward drew a lead-off walk, the Baylor commit slapped a double down the right-field line.
Magana then gave himself all the run support he really needed, dribbling a single under the glove of Temple third baseman Ricky Ortiz to drive in Ward and Hogan.
Jared Janczak followed that up with a two-run triple and then Chase Cryer hit a sacrifice fly to score Janczak from third and put Belton up 5-0.
In the second inning, Hogan all but finished off Temple when he crushed a two-run homer over the right field wall, again following a walk by Ward.
"It was pretty sweet to (hit a home run) in your last game against Temple," Hogan said. "It was awesome to jump on them like we did. It was exactly what we wanted in the first inning. We would have liked to keep it going and put it on them, but a 7-0 win against a rival is pretty good."
In all, Belton scored seven runs on only six hits as Temple pitcher Brandon Gamboa struggled to find the strike zone early.
"We had not seen (Gamboa) since last year, because he did not pitch much early, but it was pretty much the same report we had on him then - just be patient on your pitch," Cornblum said. "Timely hitting is huge and this was a big game and a big win."
From there on out, Gamboa settled down only giving up two hits. But, the damage was already done. Belton already had six more runs that it needed.
"(Magana) is gritty," Cornblum said. "He is throwing (his pitches) exactly where we need them and he is executing what he are trying to do. When a guy can execute and do what we need to do it is pretty good."