By Clay Fowler
Killeen Daily Herald
Glenn Cunningham knew he was proud of David Kipp. The Harker Heights baseball coach just didn't realize the extent of his pride until the postgame realization of Kipp's no-hitter.
Considering Shoemaker's six base runners on Tuesday night, not to mention an overshadowing Knights' offense, if there were ever a time to misconstrue a no-hitter, the Heights sophomore's 5-inning outing may have been it.
There was no mistaking the winner, however, after the Knights' 14-hit performance earned them a 13-1, run-rule victory at Shoemaker.
"I knew he was controlling the game," said Cunningham of Kipp, "I just didn't know he was controlling it that much."
Kipp walked four and hit a batter. James Johnson, who scored the lone Shoemaker run, reached base when catcher Jordan Carey was late to first with the throw after dropping one of Kipp's four strikeouts. Johnson scored on the ensuing hit batter, walk and wild pitch.
That, however, was the extent of the Shoemaker offense in the Grey Wolves' (0-21, 0-9 District 13-5A) 21st straight loss.
In their second consecutive win, Heights (11-15, 3-6) touched up SHS starting pitcher Tony Vasquez for eight runs, seven earned, on 10 hits in four and 1/3 innings. But the Knights only led 2-0 with two outs in the fourth.
"We didn't want to let Shoemaker hang around," said Cunningham. "The idea was to jump out in front, so the kids were a little anxious in the first few innings and I think that was my fault. They were lunging at pitches, not staying back and using their hands."
The Heights offense promptly warmed up when Cody Dunn followed Kipp's two-out, two-run double with an RBI single, opening a 5-1 Heights lead after four innings.
Vasquez, who had a 4.73 ERA through eight district games, was pulled after the first three of eight consecutive Knights reached base in the fifth. Eleven Heights batters came to the plate in the eight-run inning that saw a home run, two doubles, four singles and an error before the first out.
"All of a sudden they get a hit, we make an error and they get into a rhythm," said Shoemaker coach Randy Culp, who coincidentally played for Cunningham while at Ellison High School.
Heights leadoff hitter Todd Abold finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, Carey and Trevor Butler 2-for-3. Nick Shumard and Walter Hyde each hit home runs for the Knights.
Kipp was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI's perhaps his most noticeable damage of the night.
Contact Clay Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org