By Evan Ren
Killeen Daily Herald
It wasn't pretty, but it did provide some much-needed work.
At least, that's the approach being taken by Ellison baseball coach Craig Martin in the wake of Saturday's 16-4 drubbing at the hands of Austin McCallum.
Using the game as its lone tune-up prior to Thursday's bi-district showdown with Corsicana, Ellison (17-10) sent five pitchers to the mound, all of whom were roughed up.
Everett Williams was 5-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs and Sam Gore was 3-for-5 to lead McCallum (23-5), which pounded out 18 hits en route to the win at Ellison baseball field.
The champions of District 25-4A, McCallum will face the winner of Boerne and Dripping Springs in the area round, at a site and time to be determined.
"McCallum has a real good club," said Martin, whose Eagles took the top seed in District 16-4A with an 8-2 league mark. "They've played some good people and beat them and they ran through their district pretty easy.
"I think it was a good wake-up call for our kids just to show them what kind of competition they're going to see in the playoffs."
As planned, Martin sent Chris Stanley to the mound for the first two innings, after which Chris Rowland, Ryan Mahan, Trent Sinclair and Paul McCoy all saw time on the hill. Stanley set the Knights down in order in the first frame, after which McCallum scored two or more runs in every inning.
Stanley (3-3), who allowed two runs on two hits, took the loss. His counterpart, McCallum starting pitcher Matt Click, was perfect through three frames, with Sinclair breaking up the no-hit bid with a double in the fourth. It was the only hit allowed by Click, who yielded to Kyle Lusson with a 10-0 lead in the fifth.
"We were pretty flat," Martin said. "We had some flashes of offense, but we haven't played well on Saturday and I think we get a little out of our routine."
Ellison did manage to generate some offense against Lusson, scoring its first run in the fifth then Sam Hull doubled home Matt Jackson. An inning later, the Eagles brought home two runs with singles by McCoy and Victor Cartagena, and a pair of walks by Lusson.
Brandon Skinner got into the act in the seventh, doubling home Sinclair for Ellison's fourth run.
"Ellison is a solid team with solid ballplayers ... you don't beat (Hewitt) Midway twice without being a pretty salty ballclub," McCallum coach Ben Gittinger said. "Our kids are just swinging the bat really well and sometimes that happens in baseball."
Game 1 in Ellison's best-of-three area round series with Corsicana will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Corsicana. The series will shift to Ellison on Friday with another 7 p.m. start. In needed, the series will return to Corsicana on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.
n EAGLE NOTES – Ellison outfielder Garrett Carter, who broke three bones in his left foot while sliding in last week's game against Killeen, is out indefinitely.
Contact Evan Ren at email@example.com