Mineral Wells Index
By CLINT FOSTER
On the back of some dominant pitching, the Mineral Wells Rams (12-8) stomped rival Springtown in style Tuesday night, earning a 5-1 win in front of a home crowd at Pratt Field to improve to 3-0 in District 6-3A.
The win sets up a monumental showdown with the 3-0 Kennedale Wildcats, 7:30 p.m. Friday night, in Kennedale, for the district crown at the midway point of the league play.
"It was a team effort, from top to bottom; everybody contributed and everybody did a great job," head coach Bret Barrick said of the Springtown win. "Now we're sitting 3-0 and we'll go to Kennedale for the gunslingers, baby. It's a showdown at the OK Corral. We're going to look 'em in the eyes and get after it and see what happens. It's an exciting time. We're excited about the opportunity to go to Kennedale and see who's going to be 4-0 after Friday."
As energizing as the Kennedale matchup is, the Rams did not look ahead and took care of business against their Parker County rivals.
Mineral Wells' pitching was simply lights out, as Cameron Bullock started, earning credit for the win, before Chris Rapp took the mound in relief in the fifth inning with a vengeance. The two combined for six shutout innings and seven strikeouts and only allowed three hits.
"We played really good defense tonight," Barrick said. "Cameron came in and did a good job on the mound and then Chris was able to come back and throw the last three. When Chris came in, he was on fire tonight. He was almost un-hittable."
Designated hitter Bob Boudreau led the charge on offense for the Rams, finishing 2-for-3 with two RBIs. It was something of a breakout game for Boudreau, who had only registered one hit in his previous four games.
Sophomore catcher Braxton Allen was also 2-for-3, including a double and two runs.
Looking ahead to the Kennedale game, Barrick said he is unsure of who he will start on the mound. Chris Rapp – who was originally slated to start the game – should stay in the outfield after pitching three innings, Tuesday. But Barrick said he still has plenty of options to choose from with a pitching staff that is proving to be exceptionally deep, specifically mentioning Allen, who closed consecutive games last week, McCain Mason, who started Friday, and Justyn Lee, who has yet to pitch in district.
"There's three guys right there that are all possibilities for Friday," Barrick said of his rotation options. "It's a good thing; we've got depth on the pitching staff this year. I mean, we're 3-0 in district with three different starting pitchers. We possibly might have four after Friday. It'll be good to see."
Barrick said the attitude the Rams played with against Springtown and their focus heading into Kennedale has been consistent all year: the age-old one-game-at-a-time philosophy. He said he continues to stress the importance of never taking a game off, using an example from last season.
"You get on a roll and you win two or three in a row and you have a tendency to maybe get lackadaisical and not focus as much as you should," he said. "We did that last year with Lake Worth and it should have never happened. I keep reminding the kids about Lake Worth and just telling them to focus, take them one game at a time and we'll see what happens.
"Springtown was a good win for us, it was a big win for us and now we get to go out to Kennedale and strap it on."