By CLINT FOSTER
Nothing worth having comes easily.
That was head coach Bret Barrick's message to his Mineral Wells Rams baseball team (11-8, 2-0) after a hard-earned, 13-3, six-inning victory over the Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles at Pratt Field, Friday night.
"Nothing's going to be easy," he told his players under the Friday night lights. "Anything worth having is worth fighting for and working for. Be happy with the 'W,' but don't go into anything thinking it's going to be easy. Our district, top to bottom, is pretty even. We're going to have to show up and play every day."
In a game that was a bit too close for comfort through the first five innings, the Rams ultimately showed up in a big way to take care of the Eagles and remain unbeaten in District 6-3A play.
Things seemed fine at first, as the Rams built a 3-0 lead and sophomore pitcher McCain Mason tossed four scoreless frames to start the game. But in the top of the fifth frame, the Rams quickly found themselves in hot water.
After striking out the first batter, Mason walked a man, hit three consecutive batters and walked another to load the bases and score two runs for the Eagles. Sophomore Braxton Allen took the mound to close out his second straight game, but by the end of the inning, Diamond Hill had tied the score at three and put the Rams on upset alert.
In desperate need of a spark, the Rams turned to Cameron Bullock, who shifted from right field into the unfamiliar territory of catcher after Allen took the mound. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Bullock delivered an inside-the-park home run to dramatically lift his team's spirits and put the Rams up, 4-3.