By TONY EIERDAM
Cameron Bullock drove in four runs and reached base three times and Paden Patino stroked a pair of hits and scored three runs to lead the Mineral Wells Rams to a 10-3 victory over Bridgeport Thursday afternoon at the North Texas Rotation Tournament at Pratt Field in a game called by time limit in the sixth.
The Rams will play twice today – at 11 a.m. against Saginaw Chisholm Trail and at 4 p.m. against Sanger – before finishing the tournament at 4 p.m. Saturday at Decatur.
McCain Mason started on the mound for the Rams and earned the win, allowing two earned runs on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 4-1/3 innings.
Colby Kissinger finished on the hill, allowing one hit and striking out one in 1-2/3 innings.
Rams head coach Bret Barrick was pleased with Mason’s outing, and equally happy about Kissinger’s mound appearance.
“McCain threw a lot of strikes and he didn’t have very many walks,” Barrick said. “He did what we want all of our pitchers to do – pound the strike zone and make the batter put the ball in play.
“We let Colby throw a bullpen session the other day to see what he has. We need emergency pitching when we play five games in three days in tournaments.
“Colby looked really good in his session, so when we got a 10-3 lead we wanted to see what he could do in a game. He came in and competed and wore out the bottom of the strike zone. We couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Bridgeport scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning but the Rams came back with two runs in the bottom of the second. Patino led off with a single and advanced to third base when the next batter, Bullock, reached on an error.
First baseman Bob Boudreau followed with a base hit to left to drive in Patino and Bullock for a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third frame, the Rams first six hitters reached base. Kissinger legged out an infield single and crossed the plate later on an overthrow to third base.
Clean-up hitter Brayden Garcia ripped a double to left field to put runners on second and third before Patino lined a single to center field that plated Mason, and Bullock followed with a double to left that drove in Garcia and Patino to extend the lead to 6-1.
Boudreau drove in his third run of the contest with a single to right that sent Bullock home as the Rams increased their lead to 7-1.
Each team scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning as the Rams led 9-3. The Rams’ runs came on a two-RBI single off the bat of Bullock, whose hit drove in Mason, who reached on a base hit, and Patino, who reached after getting hit by a pitch.
MWHS closed the scoring in the fifth when a Kissinger double brought home courtesy runner Chris Ortiz, who was running for Braxton Allen. Allen, the starting catcher, had reached on a single.
Kissinger struck out the first Bridgeport batter he faced in the sixth and forced the Bulls to ground out twice to preserve the win.