By TONY EIERDAM
RIVER OAKS – He was simply untouchable.
Retiring every batter he faced and allowing only one ball to leave the infield, Mineral Wells senior pitcher Matt “Moose” Tincher threw a perfect game to lead the Rams to a 17-0 whitewashing of Castleberry here Friday night in the District 6-3A opener for both teams.
Tincher, who retired all 12 batters he faced in a game called after four innings due to the district’s 15-run rule, also struck out five.
Castleberry grounded out three times and popped out to a MWHS infielder on three occasions. The lone ball the Lions hit out of the infield was a lazy fly ball to center field that was easily caught for an out.
“Everything was working for me,” Tincher said. “I felt good, and my arm felt as good as it has all year.
“It feels good to throw a perfect game. I had a no-hitter in the playoffs last year, but I have never thrown a perfect game.”
Rams head coach Bret Barrick said he was impressed with Tincher’s curve ball.
“He was throwing his curve ball for a strike, and he was just staying within himself and hitting spots,” Barrick said. “He wasn’t gassing it up; he didn’t have to. We played good defense behind him.
“He pitched smart. He had a big lead so he went out there and worked on his mechanics and concentrated on hitting his spots.
“He did a good job of working his curve ball inside and out, and he just got up there and competed.”
The Moose started out with a 10-run lead as the Rams swatted seven hits in the top of the first inning – including three extra-base hits.
For the contest, MWHS ripped 12 hits that included five extra-baggers. The Rams sent up eight batters in the opening frame before the Lions could record an out.
“We have struggled with our hitting – it’s been hot and then turned cold – and we talked about it in practice.
“We told the guys to go up and relax and to concentrate only on squaring the ball up and hitting it hard somewhere.
“We tend to over think hitting, and I told them when they get into the batter box that it is just you and the pitcher and to rely on the work they had put in during practice.
“The guys saw the ball and hit it up the middle. It feels good to be 1-0 (in district play).”
The Rams began their hitting assault when lead-off hitter Brandon Martinez lined a triple off the left-field fence.
The next two batters - Colby Kissinger and Tincher – walked to load the bases. Paden Patino followed with a bases-clearing double to left that gave the Rams a quick 3-0 lead.
Freshman starting catcher Braxton Allen followed with a double to plate Patino, and McCain Mason, running for Allen, scored when the next batter, Aaron Wheeler, singled to right to increase the lead to 5-0.
Kristian Santibanez was next and he singled, and the following batter, Bob Boudreau, walked to load the bases. Castleberry removed its starting pitcher after the free pass.
Back to the top of the order, Martinez stayed hot and singled to drive in Wheeler and Santibanez to extend the Rams’ lead to 7-0.
Boudreau, Martinez and Kissinger would also cross the plate in the frame as MWHS led 10-0.
After a long wait to get to the mound, Tincher showed no ill affects. In the first three innings he struck out four batters and never allowed solid contact.
The Rams added a pair of runs in the third for a 12-0 advantage.
Kissinger tripled with one out and advanced to third base on an infield hit by Tincher, who was replaced on first base by courtesy runner Sean McGuire.
Kissinger scored on a base hit by Patino – his fourth RBI of the game – and McGuire hustled home on an overthrow to second base on a Patino steal.
The Rams closed the scoring with five runs in the top of the fourth.
Dan Reay Turk reached on a walk and scored on a bunt single by Kissinger, and Kissinger scored later on a throwing error.
Martinez, McGuire and Patino also scored in the frame.
Tincher finished off Castleberry in the bottom of the fourth, and fittingly the final out came on a strikeout.
Moose Tincher retires every batter in Rams’ 17-0 district-opening win
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
As I've written the last two weeks, Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine is on shelves and, more importantly, in my office. Can you tell I'm excited for football season?
Burke, Carter, Fisher among young standouts at early MW summer track meets
Two meets are in the books for the Mineral Wells Summer Track Club and already many young athletes have risen to the top alongside their varsity counterparts as the apparent track stars of the future.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season